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AMERICAS DAY 

STUDIES IN LIGHT AND SHADE 



BY 

IGNATIUS PHAYRE 



■\ 






What hath this Day deserved? 
What hath it done 

That it in golden letters should be set 
Among the high tides in the calendar? 



NEW YORK 
DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 
1919 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

91 

ASTOR, L* 

TILDE N 

R L 



COPTRIGHT, 1918 

Bt DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY, Inc. 



TO 

AMERICA 

ENSHRINED IN MY OWN HOME 
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATE 



A smile among dark frowns, a gentle tone 
Among rude voices, a beloved light, 
A solitude, a refuge, a delight! 



THE FOREWORD 

BEING A NEUTRAL VISION OF THE WAR 

My aim is to lift the note of the United States above the 
clamour of a world-war, its man-killing, restoration, and 
rearrangement. It shall be throughout an impersonal aim. 
I teach nothing — I only relate, conscious of a certain in- 
sight into America's music, though the sound of it be in- 
congruous as a Bach fugue on the guitar. After all, 
more than a hundred million souls dance to this tune and 
try to make new harmony by inspired violation of the 
old. 

The Great "War affected this looser continent in various 
ways: business and bosom were searched with many-sided 
appeal. "Keep your harvesters and ploughs," Chicago 
heard with dismay. "What we need are thermite bombs 
to burn the growing crops. Or send us pedrail tractors 
to dig a ditch for the living and the dead." It was the 
shriek of madness in American ears. Forty million men 
were flung into the furnace of war. Europe was seen 
shaken and distorted, like a reverend friend that foamed 
with sudden epilepsy. I cannot speak of America's won- 
der, for the sight so dazed her that "Keep Away" was 
a compelling instinct which quelled all the rest. . . . 

The live light of Christ was eclipsed with cave-man 
vengeance. The olden pillars tottered; our common sanc- 
tuary was soon a smoking heap involving the United 
States in the wicked futility of its fall. These people 
were aghast; they were also confirmed in their own ways 
— "Et voir autrement que les autres, c'est presque tou- 
jours voir un peu mieux que les autres." America was 

vii 



viii AMERICA'S DAY 

strong and sure in this perception of her own good. Who 
had seen it more clearly than her own First President, 
whose "Keep Out" policy in regard to Old-World tangles 
took a new lease when the rape of Belgium began with 
headlong fury? The prairie farmer gave Woodrow Wil- 
son a second mandate on Washingtonian lines — the lines 
of Prosperity and Peace which reseated "that proven man" 
in the White House — the first Democrat of double term 
since Andrew Jackson's day. 

Europe had run amok. America's millions stood far 
off in dim espial, deafened with partisan cries at home, 
where German bombs went off and the German Embassy 
was organized as a focus of conspiracy and crime. It 
was all so crude, this vengeful welter; startling as the 
flash and clap of storm out of a cloudless summer sky. 
So unaccountable to the naive American mind; so unex- 
pected of twentieth-century man, who rode the clouds 
and made the ether speak without wires. . . . Old seats 
of grace were gruesomely transformed. Rheims Cathedral 
was ablaze, Venice and the Isles of Greece were rained 
upon with fire like Sodom and Gomorrah. 

America shed her youthfulness in those dreadful days 
and developed an impulse to save herself. No longer 
diffident, she was now mature and grave, surging with 
pity and timid ministration. How should it end, when 
would it end? The older and once-wiser world was be- 
come a slaughterhouse, crashing with satanic gear. All 
flesh was as grass over there; each levy of men mere 
Kanonenf utter, or meat for guns that were great as factory- 
shafts, with godlike youths high in the heavens guiding 
them. There was a waste of money beyond any Wall 
Street telling. The massed wealth of nations was now 
turned to devastation, with malign Science directing all — 
under water, in the air, and across tortured lands, black 
with refugees whose prayer to God sank into sullen 



THE FOREWORD ix 

blasphemy and bloody vows of vengeance. Such was 
America's vision of the calamity. . . . 

At the same time, she reflected, the London poor con- 
tinue to live like dogs. Trench heroes, pictured in the 
papers for glowing deeds, returned from the King's Palace 
to homes unimaginably vile. The Children's Hospital 
was pawning its last security and advertising the fact: 
"Unless help comes at once we must close our wards." 
America could only stare at it all, and reckon the cost of 
each day's killing which would surely heal a world's woe. 
She heard of girl-babies collecting for the blinded and 
maimed with an empty bomb as a money-box. Mother's 
fur coat was officially branded as a crime against the 
nation. Why? Because the cost of it would give the 
hidden sniper sixteen thousand chances of shooting his 
German brother! 

Alas, that Bellona's robe should be the only wear in 
Merrie England — "0 moissoneuse des premices du ciel!" 
And America turned away from this shearing of the 
human race. Bright streams of joy lay stagnant ; the fra- 
ternity of man was but a memory, known by its tribute 
of tears, like the Shrine of Pity in Athens. In the glare 
of war our striving frailty was a baleful thing; our di- 
vinity an august lie, our efforts to rise mere twisting of 
a rope of sand, "which was a task, they say, that posed 
the devil." Depressed and bemused by it all, America 
took comfort in the better part which was unmistakably 
her own. Therefore the philosophy of George Washington 
was taken down from its dusty shelf and re-read as the 
gospel of salvation. 

"We are reasonable creatures," America insisted with 
Grotius. "Therefore our works may be moral or unjust, 
even in the rough grapple of war." It was a hint to all 
the belligerents. For by this time grief had given place 
to grievance as the United States steered a worried course 



x AMERICA'S DAY 

between the German devil and the deep sea where Britain 
was enthroned. America blamed both sides with biting 
impartiality. Why were they so "national" and not ra- 
tional at all? America's creed was the reasonableness of 
man, and this she preached to exasperation. It would 
yet transmute the greed and guile that loosed this wither- 
ing blast. Scoffed at now, it would yet lure Evil from its 
lair into a shadowless White House day. 

America was moved with Pauline sense of duty: "Ne- 
cessity is laid upon me." She must somehow try to heal 
humanity, long rent with hate and bloody aberration. 
"Let us keep our heads," was Wilson's counsel — as a man 
might urge when caught in a maniac surge and swept 
away. "America is about to be thrust into the economic 
leadership of the world." Let her stand clear of the 
wreckage if she were to serve and rebuild when this Eu- 
ropean brain-storm was overpast. The genial Bryan (most 
typical of all Americans) laid stress upon the spiritual 
side of this future. "Some nation," he felt, "must lead 
mankind out of the blackness of war into the light of 
day. Why not make that honour ours?" Here was the 
voice of America in her neutral time. One caught it in 
all keys, from the Executive Mansion to the sod-shack 
of the Nebraskan plains. 

From Vienna to Van, America assuaged the misery of 
war with grain and meat and shelter. From Douglas to 
Dantzig she mothered the prisoners of war, hearing the 
plaints of all and marvelling how God saw eye to eye with 
each belligerent. "The Throne of the Most High," Amer- 
ica thought — distracted enough herself — "must be like 
Jove's whispering-place in Lucian, where prayers criss- 
crossed in conflict, some for rain and others for shine"! 
And so, deafened with contending claims, the big Republic 
turned away from them all. She was ill at ease and angry 
to find that her neutral role was in Allied eyes that of the 



THE FOREWORD xi 

grafter and poltroon, battening upon the world's woe and 
cursed from every side. . . . On the whole, she thought, 
Europe was best left to the God that watches over the 
afflicted and cares for drunken -men in the murderous traffic 
of city streets. 

Then lust of cruelty, America feared, was a very real 
passion. Witness the Turk with his victims — say at Tre- 
bizond on the Black Sea, where a whole nation was to 
be destroyed. They were taken out in shiploads and 
scuttled in a wholesale way. . . . Cruelty! The child 
with a worm, the boy with a wounded bird — what flower 
of evil blossomed here in dark abysses of our nature? 
It was no sacred flame that moved the white hunter in 
Uganda and made him drop the elephant-gun for a 
Service rifle and the greatest game of all, which was the 
killing of men. Why, the very curates ''had to be held 
down," as the Bishop of London announces. "I should 
like to get back quick," Charles Lister wrote from Gal- 
lipoli. "I've seen just enough to tantalize. . . . And 
there's no sound like the scream of enemy shrapnel through 
the sky." Or hear another paladin — young Julian Gren- 
fell, "when the burning moment breaks" — 

"And all things else are out of mind 
And only Joy-of-Battle takes 
Him by the throat, and makes him blind." 

Such is the lure of war. This fever was not infectious 
in the United States, though sporadic cases were to be 
found: I mean American volunteers in the French and 
Canadian Armies. "It is well that war is so terrible," 
mused Lee, the Confederate leader; "otherwise we'd grow 
too fond of it." Washington himself could revel in the 
bullet's song — "There is something charming in the 
sound!" It is an acquired taste which present-day Amer- 
ica had thought outgrown in a more enlightened age. 



xii AMERICA'S DAY 

She tried to understand it — to say of modern war what 
Shelley said of the Medusa's head: "Its beauty and its 
horror are divine." But only the horror emerged. Messrs. 
Swing and Swope, America's privileged correspondents, 
wrote of trench scenes discreetly glozed over by their Eu- 
ropean rivals. The dry-land drowning of the gassed 
Canadians, for example. The wild-beast rattle of their 
end; their purple faces and starting eyes with blood and 
tissue welling from dying mouths in torment that broke 
down the veteran nurse and surgeon. Here was Science 
enlisted in the war; it was the wraith of Science that 
hovered at sundown over the gas-graveyard of Poperinghe. 

There came a time when America yawned over the war. 
News from the Great Ditch became drab and samely. So 
did cries from the sea where ships were shattered and the 
crews took to leaky boats amid German jeers. There was 
no longer a public for wolfish fights between the wounded 
and the dying out there in No Man's Land. Nor for the 
suicide of crazed men who exposed themselves deliberately 
on the parapet "to get it over." Haggard scenes in the 
dug-out hospital ceased to fascinate the American reader, 
with sweating surgeons cutting and hacking amid eerie 
screams or the cigarette-smoke of resignation from rows 
of stretchers on the floor. 

There were ghouls that robbed the dead, it seems. There 
was a crash and din of shells that robbed the living of their 
reason, so that they bombed or shot the pals at their side 
until these in turn destroyed them, as they might the 
swarming vermin of the trench. There were few horrors 
left in the inkwell when the American reporter was done, 
so adept was he in sounding the horrid crannies of our 
nature. 

Custom can (and does) brass us all with ease. The 
widow's tears are quickly dried; her mourning passes 
from harsh crepe to dull decorous silks and serge, to shine 



THE FOREWORD xiii 

at last in pearl and gold. It is the way of the world; it 
was America's way when she knew the worst of war that 
her Swings and Swopes could tell her. And then, like 
Tommy in the trench, she developed a talent for forgetting. 
From over the water I caught the carol of Prosperity; it 
was care-free as a dug-out serenade : 

"The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling 
For you — but not for me." 

The stupidity of war became a fluent theme when the 
horror of it no longer made the American cables burn. 
"Who's going to profit?" was a query that rose from 
President and car-conductor. "The Cause," they were 
told, was in every case "My Country." the conse- 
crated curse that put the State before humanity and made 
of each nation's flag a shroud that meant more than dia- 
dem and robe to those damn-fool patriots! So this was 
the lay-religion of the Old World ? It put America in mind 
of a noble fane reared in a pagan land; the light of it 
streaming vainly, like a lamp in a sepulchre. 

"When shall I do a decent day's work?" asked the 
pruner of vines of a New York reporter on the Marne. 
When would his mother do a decent day's work? — that 
patient soul in lace cap and clogs. She was now stamping 
steel and filling endless shell-maws out of dread alembics — 
sticky stuff brewed pour les Boches by the learned Turpin, 
and tried upon silly sheep in waste places of the Saone. 
America mourned with the peasants of France, who saw 
the very earth defiled by stinking warrens in zigzag rows — 
thousands of miles of them, with deep galleries here and 
there in which half a division could assemble and defy the 
guns. Then there were enormous craters and shell-pits 
in which you could hide a house. The patient fields 
were turned inside out; the vineyard churned to chalk 
by ceaseless drum-fire, and little homes ground to dust 



xiv AMERICA'S DAY 

and rubble under the leprous moons of war. . . . Look! 
There was the white-haired cure trying to trace where his 
village street had been. 

"We must send over implements," America said in her 
cheery way. "We'll ship you a lot of frame houses. 
We'll renew your farm-stock, too — we'll send you seeds 
and pigs and poultry." It was no use. The top-soil of 
the Somme was swept away. Just as it was an army's 
job to make them, so it would be an army's job to level 
these lunar landscapes, scooped out as they were and 
heaped up like a frozen sea. They might grow forest seed- 
lings — beech, and the like. But God help the cultivator 
who tried to wring a living from vengeful hectares in les 
regions actuellement liberies de I'ennemi — say, in the Oise, 
the Meuse, the Vosges, or Meurthe-et-Moselle. 

This slaughter of the soil was a phase that shocked 
America in a new way. It was abhorrent to every instinct 
of the United States, now thrilling with regret that she 
had any art or part or profit in this crazy surge — that 
her Texan cotton, kneaded and nitrated, should fill the 
war-head of German torpedoes. Why, in her own waters 
half a dozen ships were smashed on the Lord's day, and 
terrified souls cast upon stormy waters sixty miles from 
land! 

Then American steel — fine stuff for rails and bridges — 
was being frittered in gun-tubes and armour plates. A 
British artist (in khaki, of course) was cutting new masks 
and faces for the hideously maimed out of Arizona and 
Montana copper. America's wheat and meat were too 
often snatched from starving Poland and Syria to feed the 
poison-gas fiend and peeping assassins of the Turkish 
trench. America was abased at her own trade, haunted 
by dim eyes of women that outwept the clouds with an- 
guish.' Who could grasp the totality of it in this war- 
time world? Here is Emma Wilkins, the white-haired 



THE FOREWORD xv 

widow, who begins life over again as a cook in far-off 
Winnipeg. Her husband fell at Modder River, in the 
Boer War. Six times in succession had the British War 
Office wired to this woman to say that a son was killed. 
To these add three stepsons and a brother-in-law, as well 
as a sister who "became a raving maniac before my eyes 
when she heard her husband was lost in the Jutland fight. ' ' 

Acres of print were published in the United States about 
the twin arts of killing and curing until America was 
stultified with a sense of crime. She lost interest in those 
surgical miracles: how bone was taken from the rabbit 
and grafted on the pet of the hospital ward; how blood 
was transfused, and the calf robbed of nerves for the 
sake of the V.C. bomber, or the palsied lad who had ripped 
up a dozen Huns in a minute's "haymaking" with the 
bayonet. Such wonders grew more than stale. So did 
pictures of the Hughes balance; the electro-magnet and 
the microphone for locating steel fragments in the living 
tissue. 

Against these America set the German flame-projector 
that burns men alive as they face the foe. How perverse, 
when all was said and done; how revolting to men of 
sense was this endless game of hurt and healing! Here 
was Dr. Barthe de Sandfort who made a sound job of the 
flayed poilu — "barely recognizable as a human being" 
when brought in for the ambrine treatment to the famous 
hospital at Issy-les-Moulineaux. America had no en- 
thusiasm for this wanton mending. Nor had she any 
pride in her own undoubted skill in the production of 
artificial limbs. It was an added reproach, indeed, being 
primarily the result of her own industrial speed-up, whose 
casualties vied with those of Verdun and the Somme. 

You will gather from my Foreword that America was 
an unmilitary Power, with a policy diametrically opposed 



xvi AMERICA'S DAY 

to the Might before Right of Bismarck. "We are a very- 
rich people," Theodore Roosevelt reminded them. "We 
are a fat, untrained, and helpless people. We have treated 
money-getting, soft ease, and vapid pleasure as the all- 
sufficing ends of life. We have let our Navy run down, 
we have refused to build up our Army. We have acted 
as if wealth and wordy sentiment atoned for the lack of 
those stern virtues upon which alone true national great- 
ness rests. There is no surer way to court disaster than 
to be opulent, disliked — and unarmed!" 

But that reproach has passed in a Day of violence of 
which no man can see the end ; it was passing when Roose- 
velt wrote those words. For the first time nationhood was 
being born in the United States. New seeds and sparkles 
glowed in the melting-pot, and all eyes were fixed upon its 
ferment. For the older nations were now pale with the 
sickness of war. They were indeed "among the graves," 
as the prophet said, "and broth of abominable things is in 
their vessels." 

Having said so much, let me light my candle at the 
cannon's mouth and show the Land of Opportunity, its 
striving castes and problems, together with the perils which 
beset the people's chosen path, and for the first time thrust 
them into a mighty struggle overseas. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

The Foreword vii 

I "Keep Out" and "Keep Off" 1 

II Revelation from the Hill of Mars .... 14 

III The Setting Forth of Strange Gods .... 28 

IV "States' Rights" versus the Nation .... 40 
V America in the Making 50 

VI The City of Cities 68 

VII "Dare and Do" 94 

VIII The Militarism of Money 114 

IX Adventures in Success 138 

X Pay-Dirt of the Plains 159 

XI "An Helpmeet for Him" 181 

XII Publicity and the Press 206 

XIII The "People of Now" 228 

XIV Thinking Pink as a National Outlook . . . 247 
XV The World Must Be Safe for Democracy . . 273 

XVI The Watchman and the Sword 298 

XVII Germany and America in the "Empty Conti- 
nent" 334 

XVIII "Our Own Eastern Question" 359 

XIX The New Anglo-American Understanding . . 398 



AMERICAS DAY 



AMERICA'S DAY 

CHAPTER I 

"keep out" and "keep off" 

The apostle of Preparedness was early abroad in the 
United States preaching the god of war to Stoics and Epi- 
cureans of capricious hearing. For these, their President 
feared — with relucting mind, you understand, forced to it 
by the press of fact — had been too long aloof "in provincial 
isolation." It was a revolutionary saying. The many 
Americas debated it back and forth — here with assent, 
there with dissent or discord, dying away to complete in- 
difference in the great food-acres of the Middle West. 

In the United States we have the hugest assembly under 
any civilized flag. They muster well over a hundred mil- 
lion souls scattered through sixty degrees of longitude, and 
they include every race upon earth. "We are to play a 
leading part in the world-drama," Dr. Wilson announced, 
"whether we wish it or not." But the last election showed 
no crusading zeal among the masses. America, her Chief 
Executive told us, was vitally interested to secure universal 
peace and save the smaller nations from violence and 
wrong. But there are many Americas : who knew this bet- 
ter than Woodrow Wilson? Knightly champions there 
might be along the Atlantic fringe ; there were none at all 
in the intermountain States east of the Rockies and west 
of the Mississippi Valley. Here Freedom's pibroch had a 
soothing sound; the price of beef on the hoof was more 
than all the tortured Armenians. 

When you mentioned war down in Texas or Arizona, it 

1 



2 AMERICA'S DAY 

was Mexico that became the fluent theme. On the Pacific 
Slope the Japanese bogey brooded as an abiding menace. 
So that each America was immersed in matters of its own ; 
it was the Federal Government's affair to unite them all, 
and call a country's pride out of the continental immen- 
sity. The prime purpose of the United States, as Dr. 
Wilson reminds us, was to crystallize — "at any rate in 
one government, the fundamental rights of man." . . . 
"America," he said again, "must be ready hereafter as a 
member of the family of nations to exert her whole moral 
and physical force for the assertion of those rights through- 
out the earth." 

So did the President prepare his people for that "leap 
in the dark" which Senator Lodge and many others con- 
demned. Certainly Wilson was throwing to the winds of 
war the great principles of his predecessors, above all, the 
"Keep Out" counsel enshrined in Washington's Farewell 
Address, and handed down as America's gospel! "Eu- 
rope," the Liberator explained, "has a set of primary in- 
terests which to us have none, or a very remote relation." 
Again and again the First President warned the infant 
State against foreign wiles. "Our detached and distant 
situation," he was glad to say, "enables us to pursue a 
different course." America might extend her commerce, 
but she would do well to have "as little political connection 
as possible" with the older Powers, their devious unions, 
quarrels and intrigues. 

Such was the advice of the greatest American. To the 
"Keep Out" of Washington, James Monroe added his 
famous "Keep Off" in 1823, thus completing America's 
aloofness. It was with vague unrest that Monroe heard 
the pious vows of Prussia, Russia, and the Holy Alliance. 
Those precepts of Christ, those principles of justice, char- 
ity, and peace were thought to hide the devil's own designs 
upon Spanish America. 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 3 

"We owe it to candour," Congress was told in Monroe's 
famous message, "to declare that any attempt on the part 
of the Allies to extend their system to this hemisphere will 
be considered dangerous to our peace and safety." With 
existing Colonies in the New World the United States had 
no concern. But any fresh adventure would be viewed as 
an unfriendly act. 

"Keep Out" and "Keep Off" were the guiding politics 
of the United States down to the fateful year of 1914. 
The Great War put an end to this isolation, though the 
masses would not admit as much. America was so secure 
in the old days, so free to develop herself in ways of her 
own choosing. For nearly a century each Administration 
sang the praise of this policy. On the 4th of July silver 
tongues (like Bryan's) blessed the care-free hugeness over 
which Old Glory waved. What happiness was here, what 
lofty theories of life and man's duty to his brother! 
American envoys abroad were set apart from their col- 
leagues. They were glad to be mere crows amid the para- 
dise-birds around a throne; black-coated democrats in a 
gorgeous rout, decked with the gold lace and jewelled 
orders of a guileful and secret service. 

The election of 1916 altered the political map of the 
United States, to the confusion of the Old Guard. For 
the first time something like a nation's voice was heard, 
but not even a Quixote would construe it as that of a 
champion of the world's woe. "He kept us out of war," 
men said of Wilson. There were wonderful times ahead, 
with America thrust into leadership and Europe a chaos 
of mourning and spilt blood. The election revealed the 
strength of the "Keep Out" tradition. Wilson's first term 
was full of it — though he veered and changed with every 
beat of the storm. His Message to Congress in 1914 op- 
posed preparation for war. That of 1915 called upon the 
people for whole-hearted efforts "to care for their own 



4 AMERICA'S DAY 

security and that of the Government they have set up to 
serve them." Twitted with inconsistency, Wilson owned 
to a receptive mind, ever alive to fresh streams of thought. 
He was serene as Lincoln under these anxious digs. "Yes," 
said the Emancipator calmly, "I've another opinion now. 
I don't think much of a man who isn't wiser today than he 
was yesterday. ' ' 

"Always learning" was Wilson's motto, as it was Michel- 
angelo's. But could he impart his knowledge to the de- 
votees of Prosperity and Peace? W T ould his people accept 
his prompting before it was too late? "We can no longer 
indulge our parochialism," the President told them plainly, 
with no hint of his own regret for the old American way. 
They must pile up ships, he urged. They must patrol 
their coasts with aircraft, and not play the foolish virgin, 
caught unprovided in the stormy dark. So said the cau- 
tious Wilson to the States of the Union — those easy-going 
sovereignties which to the average Briton are "something 
like our own counties." America's vastness is seldom 
grasped, though most of her problems spring from it. Cali- 
fornia alone is bigger than Great Britain and Ireland. 
So is Montana — though its population is not much more 
than Bristol's. 

In Texas — the Lone Star State — you could stow all 
the kingdoms, principalities, and Grand Duchies of the 
German Empire, leaving room for Holland and Belgium 
in the semi-arid Panhandle, which is now a field of corn. 
Unless this immensity is borne in mind, with its range 
of climates, crops, and races — European, Asiatic, and Afri- 
can — no attempt to reveal America is of any avail. 

Isolation was over. The "Keep Out" counsel of Wash- 
ington was well enough for three million settlers strung 
out along the Atlantic coast. But now — ! And even 
Washington had something to say about Young America's 
risks and liabilities. These, it seems, grew with "our rising 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 5 

prosperity." "There is a rank due to the United States," 
her first President declared, "which will be withheld, if 
not absolutely lost, by a reputation for weakness." So 
the pursuit of peace might become an abject aim — far 
worse, indeed, than any lust of war for its own sake on 
Clausewitz lines. 

Slowly, then, conviction crept through the United States 
that God was on the side of big battalions, and that Jus- 
tice, in the last resort, spoke with giant guns and bombs. 
I say the conviction "crept," for it was not a welcome 
thought. The "Keep Out" advice died very hard in spite 
of urgent warnings. It survived the Lusitania shock and 
many another, bobbing up serenely with all the toughness 
of a timber-laden derelict. A word from the State De- 
partment, and "that easier feeling" supervened, as it did 
after the Nebraskan, the Arabic, Hesperian, Persia, Silius, 
Sussex, and Marina. 

Beyond question the desire to Keep Out delayed the 
"strict accountability" of President Wilson's First Note 
to Berlin. Two minor tragedies — the Falaba and G id /light 
— came before the Lusitania and involved American lives. 
As the list grew longer, fury rose in the Eastern States — 
only to die away in vast spaces west of the Alleghanies. 
On the other hand, New York and Washington laughed 
at the prairie politics of Hickory Creek, where the cowboy- 
statesman started a war-withering simoon in his local pa- 
per, comparing the American soldier to a watchmaker on 
the Congo— a man who should change his job at once lest 
society turn upon him as a useless drone. 

We are all familiar with Roosevelt's fulminations against 
Wilson, the man of peace. 

"Nothing permanent," he told the people in one of his 
early moods, "is ever accomplished by force." Then how 
were the British expelled, the dissentients asked. TIow was 
this continent won from the Indians 1 How was Secession 



6 AMERICA'S DAY 

crushed, and the Union saved in the Civil War? . . . Wil- 
son was hedging at last, and changing his tune: "The 
United States can never be the same again." Here was 
the new note. "From across the Atlantic, from across the 
Pacific, we feel in our heart new calls and currents that 
touch our very life. ' ' . 

No wonder the professional soldier increased his demands. 
Here was the Federal Chief of Staff, General Hugh L. Scott, 
proposing a standing army of 250,000, expanding to three 
millions in war-time and drawn from the whole manhood 
of the continent. General Leonard Wood, Commander- 
in-Chief of the American Army, was equally blunt in an- 
swering Mr. Bryan. "No wolf was ever frightened by 
the size of a flock of sheep. ... If you have ideals worth 
defending, then words alone will not avail you. . . . We 
have far too many orators — too many Fourth of July 
flowers about a million citizens leaping to arms between 
dawn and dark. We of the War College sat up all night 
for three weeks in 1916 hoping to see thirty thousand 
volunteers take that leap for service on the Mexican border 
at the President's call. Take my word for it, it was a 
heavy jump they made with seventy-live per cent, of fail- 
ure among the athletes we had counted on. ' ' 

The President's party was well provided with answers 
to all reproach. Elihu Root accused them of not making 
timely provision "to back American diplomacy by actual 
or assured naval and military force." But Mr. Root and 
his colleagues, the Democrats said, had had twelve years 
of control in which to make this very provision. Not even 
Roosevelt, the most forceful of Presidents, could rouse en- 
thusiasm for his Big Stick, which America was to carry 
and speak softly if she were to win her way and command 
the world's respect. 

"Is our nation one, or a discordant multitude?" Mr. 
Root flung at the State Convention in New York. "Have 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 1 

Selfish living, factional jars, and love of ease obscured our 
spiritual vision? Has the patriotism of a people never 
summoned to sacrifice become lifeless?" Here were search- 
ing questions from a great American. They went to the 
very source of a continental apathy which has long been 
the despair of statesmen in a loose federation of sovereign- 
ties. "Here's a hoop to the barrel!" was the bitter toast 
of General Washington's officers long ago. It was a caus- 
tic allusion to the disruptive tendencies of the thirteen 
original States. This lack of cohesion persisted until 1916, 
baffling and obstructing the national government. 

It is no easy matter to make a nation with three thou- 
sand miles between two of its capitals. The ideals of Ire- 
land and Albania are no further apart than those of New 
York and Nevada. Far more than distance divides sub- 
tropic Florida, its orange-groves and palms, from bleak 
Montana, where the very wolves perish in their winter 
lairs. As for social contrast, let me set on one hand the 
Babylonian splendour of Newport, and on the other hand 
negro squalor in the "Black Belt" of Mississippi, where 
the white man is in a minority, and racial hatred is for ever 
smouldering. 

I hope I convey some idea of the problems confronting 
the Federal Administration in 1916. President Wilson's 
appeal for unity to the League of the Foreign-Born had 
high significance. "A man or a woman," he said, "who 
becomes a citizen of the United States is not expected to 
give up his or her love for the land in which they were born. 
But we do expect them to put their new allegiance above 
all others." Nor should the foreign-born (Dr. Wilson 
hinted) continue to live by themselves — using their own 
language, having their own newspapers, and passively re- 
fusing to merge with America, where the "good mixer" 
has the best chance in opportunity's arena. It was the 
foreign-born who warred upon their adopted country in 



8 AMERICA'S DAY 

a season of strange malignance. Infernal machines wrecked 
American docks and Allied ships. About the factories 
were set barbed wire; armed sentries protected the plant 
from citizens whom the President, in a famous Message 
to Congress, "blushed to admit" as Americans. They 
"poured poison into the very arteries of the United States," 
the National Assembly was told. It was an onslaught of 
which America had never dreamed: "And we are with- 
out adequate Federal laws to deal with it." Here was a 
frank confession of impotence. The judgment of crime is 
a matter of States' Rights. A fugitive murderer must 
needs be extradited, as from a foreign land. It was so with 
the notorious Harry Thaw, whom New York could only 
arrest after long and costly litigation with the States of 
Vermont and Maine. 

There are, indeed, myriads of American laws, most of 
them easily evaded because framed by amateurs and in- 
operative beyond the State line. Thus the bachelor in 
Reno (Nevada) fresh from the "nisi-mills" of the Desert 
State, may find himself a bigamist in Spartanburg — for 
South Carolina has no divorce law at all. A girl child of 
twelve can be a wife in Kansas and Kentucky. She must 
be eighteen in Idaho and New York. It is hard to imagine 
the chaos made in this way by forty-eight Parliaments 
electing over four thousand members, all of them anxious 
to please local supporters in a novel field. At the last 
legislative session in Sacramento (Cal.), 2877 new Bills 
were introduced, and 771 were added to the Statute Book. 
The Sessions Laws of Arkansas for 1915 fill a volume of 
1046 pages, those of Massachusetts one of 1100 pages. I 
write of a New World isled in its own immensity, and im- 
possible to grasp in a single coup d'ml. It is a politico- 
social experiment on the hugest scale, preferring its own 
mistakes to our experience. America is a noisy pakestra 
of sleepless wit and unresting hands. Its strenuous aura 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 9 

is best felt in the personal formula of George W. Perkins, 
the insurance magnate, who retired at fifty to devote him- 
self and his wealth to public welfare, education, and art. 
"My own method," Mr. Perkins says, "has been to live 
every day as though it was the only day I had to live, and 
to crowd everything possible into that day. I gave no 
heed to the clock, nor to what I was paid. I worked and 
lived for all there was in it." 

Here is business efficiency defined by a master, with the 
speed-up focussed into a burning spot of corrosive power. 
For many years this was America's gospel, but today it is 
questioned for the first time. The colossal waste of life 
in Europe set up waves of constructive sympathy in the 
United States. "Over here," says Mr. Darwin P. Kings- 
ley, of the New York Life Insurance Company, "the hu- 
man machine begins to go to pieces at fifty-five. It is the 
price of our peace, and nobody counts the cost. So marked 
is the death-jate increase that all the companies have re- 
vised their rules for accepting lives at fifty-five and over." 

Physical unpreparedness was hailed by professional sol- 
diers as a factor in their favour. They argued that a 
stiffish course of training in early manhood would fit the 
American for every emergency of modern life, whether in 
peace or war. Governor Whitman of New York declared 
that compulsory service was in no way inconsistent with 
American tradition and aims. The revered head of Har- 
vard University, Dr. Charles W. Eliot, also defended this 
step, since "the oceans are no longer barriers but high- 
ways inviting the passage of fleets." Besides, a citizen 
army on the continental scale was America's duty towards 
the peace of the world. Force was still supreme. And, 
reviewing the Great War, the old scholar reminded his 
people that: "Neither religion nor popular education has 
shown any power to prevent this lapse to savagery." 

The American masses not only loathed war; they mis- 



10 AMERICA'S DAY 

trusted the panoply and ritual of it. Congress has always 
suspected soldiers and placed them under a ban. The Gen- 
eral Staff — a recent creation — was not loved in Washing- 
ton, where the War Department has thus far been in 
civilian hands. ''Keep away from Congress," General 
Wotherspoon warned his colleagues on his retirement. For 
he also was an alarmist; a man of conscience and plain 
professional speaking about a small and dwindling army, 
and a system of State militias worthy of the comic stage, 
and all the anathema heaped upon them in the report of 
Generals Wood and Barry. 

There was something unmartial in this New World at- 
mosphere. American history shows an inveterate reliance 
upon citizen levies, from Bunker's Hill to the Mexican 
Border of 1916. The army was abolished — re-established, 
reduced to 6000 men, and throughout regarded as a nui- 
sance. One result of this was a war of seven years against 
the Seminole Indians, who, with 2000 braves- in the field, 
called for over 60,000 American troops to put them down, 
at a cost of $70,000,000. The larger war in Mexico, the 
Rebellion of the South, and the clash with Spain — these 
taught America little in the way of armed preparation 
suited to the needs of a growing Power. "It is unhappily 
true," says Major-General W. H. Carter, U. S. A., "that 
in none of our wars has the Government been able to count 
upon the active support, or even of the good-will, of all the 
nation . . . even when the very life of the Union was at 
stake." 

It was ignorance of these facts which made our own 
newspapers ask "What will America do?" after each new 
affront put upon President Wilson by Germany. What 
else could he do but "Keep Out" if that were the wish of 
his people? When he pictured them as champions of the 
weaker nations — quick and ardent custodians of the world 's 
peace, "with every influence and resource at their com- 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 11 

mand" — Dr. Wilson was careful to add: "But the war 
must first be concluded." He showed marvellous insight 
into the many-sided Republic. No doubt he hoped to edu- 
cate the masses in preparedness, with wasted Europe before 
them, and a growing power in, Asia fast closing the 
once "Open Door" in China, and heaping up fighting 
forces by sea and land and air. But in the flush time of 
1916 Wilson admitted frankly that America had no world- 
policy at all. "To carry out such a program we need 
unity of spirit and purpose." And the "unified strength" 
upon which the President harped was not as yet in 
sight. 

The New World was wholly misunderstood in Europe. 
Why, it was asked, had not the Big Neutral given a moral 
lead to the rest? Why had she fussed over her cotton 
and grain; why had she taken up Prussia's catchword 
about "the freedom of the seas"? It was because (one 
heard) of that trade neutrality which made Sweden protest 
so sharply over her mail-bags, Holland over her herrings, 
Spain over her oranges and cork — bulky cargoes in a time 
of tight tonnage and ruthless submarines. If America had 
only thrown her segis over Belgium when the scrap of 
paper was torn, and the German hordes began to martyr 
the most innocent of all nations! So ran the reproaches 
on this side, whether expressed or implied. 

European poets and scholars scathed neutrality of every 
shade, from the Pope 's to that of American people. ' ' The 
world is watching," Maeterlinck called across the sea, "to 
judge if the strength of your fathers is also yours." But 
America was not aroused; she was not in fighting trim 
at all. She would feed the hungry and care for the father- 
less and prisoners of war. Beyond this she was power- 
less. "What can America do?" asked the German papers, 
with an easy contempt that was almost incredible, ad- 
dressed as it was to a continent of a hundred millions — ■ 



12 AMERICA'S DAY 

the richest on earth and the most insistent upon moral 
claims and covenants. America must needs win her masses 
to whole-hearted preparation if she were to be among the 
guarantors of universal peace. "It is inconceivable," 
President Wilson told the Senate, "that we should play no 
part in that great enterprise." For if peace were to en- 
dure, it must be secured by "the organized major force 
of mankind." And in the same address Dr. Wilson dwelt 
upon the limitation of armaments by sea and land as "the 
most intensely practical question connected with the future 
fortunes of nations and mankind." 

It is plain that America has strong views upon this 
subject. It was the piling up of weapons which menaced 
' ' the sense of equality among the nations. ' ' Therefore the 
President favoured a reduction, advising the world's rulers 
to "plan for peace and adjust their policy to it." But he 
could not be consistent in this matter. He was plainly 
in a strait between the ideal of disarmament and the de- 
fence of the United States, which was an urgent affair upon 
all grounds. 

Wilson, indeed, went further than Roosevelt in his naval 
aims. He declared himself in favour of "incomparably 
the greatest Navy," since America's coast-line is so exten- 
sive. The Cabinet's new five-year program called for an 
outlay on ships of $661,000,000, with twenty per cent, 
above specified prices for speed in building and general 
efficiency of all craft. Professional advisers of the Gov- 
ernment insisted upon these measures; the masses either 
resisted or were listless and unconcerned. It was the in- 
terplay of these active and passive forces which gave rise 
to so much confusion. Official Washington had to walk 
very warily, doling sympathy and blame to all belligerents 
with the apathy of the larger Americas ever in view. 

Britain was aghast at the detachment shown in the Presi- 
dent's early speeches. So was France, where Freedom 



"KEEP OUT" AND "KEEP OFF" 13 

blazed in the very heart of desolation. And she signalled 
mute reproach to her sister Republic across the seas : 

"I am she that was thy sign and standard bearer, 
Thy voice and cry ; 
She that washed thee with her blood and left thee fairer, 
The same am I ! " 

Still there was no sign, and the amazement of Paris 
broke into open reproaches. "When England tried to op- 
press you with the help of hired Hessians, the peasants 
of France came to your aid. They fought by your side, 
they died for you. And yet, today in our agony. ..." 
It roused nothing but vexation, as the memory of a debt 
so often does. 

As a well-wisher, the New York Tribune was sorry to 
record this sentiment. However, there it was, faintly mov- 
ing America in the mass. It would be well for the Allies, 
the Tribune said, "to renounce all thought that America 
is a sympathetic county, or one in which community of 
ideas exists with regard to the present clash." It was 
true that both France and Britain had warm friends in 
the United States. "But they are in the minority; they 
have not been able to mould American feeling." The old 
French alliance, ties of British race and of language — 
these were but frail exhalations from history 's page. ' ' The 
sooner the Allies think of America as a foreign country — 
not necessarily friendly, and certainly not of their way 
of thought — the better for all concerned." 

It was "reparation for the American lives lost," that 
Dr. Wilson demanded in his first Lusitania Note. And 
if in his next he warned the sea assassin "with solemn 
emphasis," it is well to remind British readers of hot 
American protest against the "vexatious and illegal prac- 
tices" of our own blockade. All nations were foreign when 
viewed from neutral Washington, whose outlook may be 
expressed in the mild phrase of Lincoln, "With malice to- 
wards none, with charity for all." 



CHAPTER II 

REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 

A quaint episode in American history is the offer of a 
crown to General Washington by the officers of the Revo- 
lutionary Army. It was almost a mutinous army, ill-clad 
and ill-fed ; dismissed at last and scantily paid in paper 
worth two per cent, of its face value. Only Washington's 
influence prevented an open revolt. It is curious to survey 
America's dislike of the "standing army," and later on 
of a navy — that added evil due to crescent power and the 
new duties that came with it. It has always been a point 
of honour with Congress to lop and prune these noisome 
growths of the State; it was at one time a moot point 
whether they were necessary at all. 

In 1810, when Europe flamed with the Napoleonic wars, 
John Randolph of Virginia rose in the Lower House with 
the familiar motion "to reduce our naval and military 
establishments." "With respect to war," cooed that 
Bryan of his day — poet, orator, and wit — "we have in the 
Atlantic a force wide and deep enough to ward off peril 
from the land." Two years later that moat was crossed 
by a hostile army ; before the war was over the very cham- 
ber in which Randolph had spoken was burned by British 
soldiers. But nothing altered the traditional mistrust of 
Congress for an armed host; the consequence is seen in 
America's unreadiness for all her wars. 

What alarmed her advisers in 1916 was that the first 
onset of a modern enemy might be a lightning stroke, like 
the German sweep towards Paris. Leisurely war was a 
thing of the past ; so was the raising of levies by bounties 
or reluctant drafts, as in the long-drawn Civil War. "The 

14 



REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 15 

records show conclusively," says Major-General W. II. 
Carter, the military historian, "that the theory of citizen 
volunteers ready to march in our defence is wholly falla- 
cious." When the nation's fate hung in the balance, only 
46,626 men over twenty-four years of age could be found 
for the Union Army; the vast majority were boys of six- 
teen or less. It took two years to train these troops and 
develop a Gettysburg from the dangerous rout of Bull Run, 
where disaster was only averted by eight hundred regulars 
who fought a rearguard action. In the war with. Spain the 
volunteers, with few exceptions, were unfit to embark. 
Their lack of discipline, the failure of supplies; the disease 
and chaos at Chickamauga and Key "West Camps — these 
are today as ghastly as they are fresh in the memory of 
professional soldiers. 

The Commander-in-Chief, General Leonard Wood, 
warned the House Committee on Military Affairs in the 
usual way. "To send our troops into war as they are, 
without guns or ammunition, would be absolute slaughter." 
It was the Federal Army to which the speaker referred. 
Of the National Guard, or forces of the several States, 
called out on the Mexican Border, General Wood reported 
to the War Department that "only 25 per cent, of these 
can be reckoned as reasonably instructed soldiers." The 
Kentucky and Georgia Guards showed 50 per cent, of 
physical rejections. Of the 8th Ohio Infantry, 500 men 
were unfit. It was no wonder, therefore, that on the 
march Virginia lay down in companies ; New York shed 
90 men in 6 miles of the open road. Thousands had no 
uniform; thousands more had never fired a service rifle in 
their lives. 

But why were such troops employed in a national 
emergency? In order to give the Regular Army a chance 
to recruit and make ready; it was at that time 34,307 
men below its peace strength under the new law. On the 



16 AMERICA'S DAY 

other hand, the Navy was 2000 officers and 60,000 men 
short, so that when the Arizona went into commission 
she retired three older battleships, absorbing their crews 
and putting to sea short-handed herself. Such is the mo- 
notonous story of both Services. 

The Washington Bureaux are full of secret reports 
pigeon-holed by a genial sin of habit. Here is one such 
warning from Secretary of War Dickinson and his Chief 
of Staff: "A foreign country," the House Committee was 
informed, "could land 200,000 veterans on our Western 
Coast in thirty days. To meet this invasion the three 
States west of the Rockies (California, Oregon, and Wash- 
ington) could only muster 3000 Regulars and 5000 Mili- 
tia; these last of little use, and all lacking transport and 
munitions." Still more alarming were reports upon the 
coast-defence artillery. The whole continent was more or 
less defenceless, although millions of money were spent, 
and the Washington Bureaux issued rosy reports to the 
papers. 

The condition of the Navy was very bad. A Committee 
of Congress was its real ruler; the fighting Staff could 
only report defects and hope for the best, though with no 
illusions about promise or performance. Five battleships 
of the Kentucky class and five destroyers of the Alivyn 
class were accepted with defective machinery. Admiral 
Fletcher found the submarines in a "deplorable condition." 
At times not more than five were ready for duty. They 
could not reach their assigned stations 75 miles south of 
Nantucket, nor could they maintain their surface speed 
in moderate weather. Some of them leaked, others broke 
cylinders and cranks, or else they could not submerge at 
all. Rear-Admiral Grant assured the Naval Committee 
that "twenty-two of our K submarines are about equal to 
three of the German U-39." 

Target practice by the larger ships brought bitter com- 



REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 17 

ment from Admiral Winslow and Captain Sowden Sims, 
two of the ablest officers in the Navy. Admiral Edwards 
pointed out that there was not a dry dock in the South 
Atlantic or Gulf coasts capable of taking a superdread- 
nought. Nor was there a single crane there that could 
install or remove a heavy gun. It may be taken for granted, 
on the best professional authority, that both Navy and 
Army were at all times unready for active service against 
a modern enemy. To America, war was a preposterous 
thought. Therefore soldiers and sailors, guns and ships 
existed only on grudging sufferance. They ate up mil- 
lions, America was ashamed to say ; so the wise thing was 
to keep these dragons as feeble as possible by denying 
their demands. "Ten of my twenty-one 5-in. guns can- 
not be manned," mourns the captain of the New York dur- 
ing manoeuvres. Shortage in the engine-room staff of the 
Arkansas caused a serious explosion. It crippled the ship, 
and caused the admiral to declare himself unable "to meet 
on equal terms similar types in foreign navies." 

It was this repressive rule which made Roosevelt say 
that "the whole Service is being handled in such a way 
as to impair its fitness and morale." But the American 
people would have it so ; their whole complexion and quality 
of life was rosed over with peace and strenuous joy. Only 
the statesmen and professional fighters were anxious over 
the new era of armed sanction. Elihu Root impressed upon 
the Yale students that "while democracy has proved suc- 
cessful under simple conditions, it remains to be seen how 
it will stand the strain of those vast complications upon 
which the country is now entering." In other words, 
America was at the parting of the ways, and her men on 
watch had a delicate task to break the unwelcome news to- 
gether with the sacrifice of comfort it would entail. 

This accounts for President Wilson's vacillation and his 
slow abandonment of the "Keep Out" policy. After all, 



18 AMERICA'S DAY 

Washington himself foresaw a sweeping change ; there was 
comfort in that for the present "White House occupant. 
The first President traced young America's growth along 
inevitable lines. He dared not hope that his impress would 
remain for ever, or his guidance "control the usual current 
of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the 
course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations." 

America's new destiny was soon the insistent theme of 
President Wilson. "The business of neutrality is over," 
he assured the farmers. This war of peoples was the very 
last from which America could hope to refrain. As things 
chanced, however, Fate was kind- 1 — kind to the United 
States, equally kind to stricken Europe, who looked over- 
seas for a friend on the grey morrow of her dreadful orgy. 
"They will need us," the Ohio folk were assured by their 
President. His hearers agreed, recalling how King Albert 
asked the late Jim Hill, of the Northern Pacific, to rebuild 
the Belgian railways when all was over. 

There would also be Russia and East Prussia to renew, 
with Northern France, the two Polands, Serbia, Rumania, 
Bulgaria, and Montenegro. Here were wide marts, and 
with them high mission to comfort the sore and scattered 
races. It was a lattermath of service which appealed with 
peculiar force to America. Already she felt the fires of 
war falling away. Uncle Sam would yet be the hierarch of 
a nobler altar, one built of Vermont marble and Nevada 
gold, overlaid with silks from the New Jersey mills ! Busi- 
ness first, and with it Samaritan ministry for all the bel- 
ligerents. There was "infinite prosperity ahead," as Dr. 
Wilson assured his people in election speeches. "We have 
bought back two thousand million dollars' worth of securi- 
ties. In the first two years of war we amassed one-third of 
the world's gold." 

And yet — ? This riot of riches seemed to bring anxiety 
in its train. Official Washington, as nerve-centre, felt auras 



EEVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 19 

of fear chilling the wide elation of the continent. Military 
weakness was no longer a joke, neither was the endless 
"war" between Committees of Congress and keen officers 
of both Services who had America's honour and safety at 
heart. Even the State guardsman, a purely political figure, 
disappeared from the comic papers upon whose coloured 
covers he had capered with a javelin and a stone ax. "We 
must Prepare," men told each other — without any alarm, 
however, for there was no hurry. This was the new note 
that flickered from Bar Harbor to San Diego — which is 
now an aircraft station on the Pacific. "We shall be called 
upon to defend this Prosperity of ours." It was at once a 
nuisance and a novelty. There was talk of Preparedness — 
just talk and little more — all the way from Puget Sound 
to the Florida Keys. 

Out at Sheepshead Bay the New York police manoeuvred 
with bombs and maxims before an admiring crowd. Naval 
Secretary Daniels invited likely citizens to take a three 
weeks' cruise on a warship with a view to increasing the 
Naval Reserve. But when all was done, it was a languid 
campaign. To the Slovak farmer twelve hundred miles 
from any sea, Preparedness for war was pointless babble. 
In the Atlantic tier of States men were awake and aware ; 
they were also carping at ways and means, like the rich 
burgess of other days who peered from the coach and spied 
robber horsemen in the chilly dawn. There were "Get 
Readys," and there were "Let Bes. " Between these and 
the anti-British and pro-Germans, the President steered a 
precarious and troubled way. Plis position reminds one of 
the Pope's own, with the gentle Mercier of Malines upon 
one hand and Cardinal Hartmann of Cologne on the other, 
rolling out a very different tale of the Herrenvolk and their 
ways in a conquered land. 

" 'Tain't easy, bein' Pres'dent, I guess," was a sympa- 
thetic hazard flung at Lincoln in his darkest days. The 



20 AMERICA'S DAY 

great man agreed, with gaunt simplicity. "I feel like the 
Irishman," he explained, "who was ridden on a rail and 
tried to keep his dignity all through. 'Ef 'twasn't f'r the 
honour o' the thing,' Pat called to his friends, 'I declare to 
God Oi'd rather walk!' " With the queerest of wars in 
Mexico, with German defiance at sea and rabid hyphenism 
at home, centring in the Imperial Embassy at Washington, 
Dr. Wilson's was indeed an unenviable lot. 

There was much to be feared from the German- Ameri- 
cans. Nationalism had lain dormant in these exiled 
millions; it woke to frenzy the whole world over at the 
Fatherland's call. 

"Don't you dare declare war on us," panted the Mil- 
waukee German to his half-brother, the American. "If 
you do, you '11 have the Japs on your back and ourselves in 
your guts ! " It was not a pretty speech, but it was charac- 
teristic of the hyphenate in his early heat. Military weak- 
ness, then, as well as mixed races and unconcern for the 
issues, account for the humiliations heaped upon America 
during the first two years of the war. Her newspapers — 
those of the East should be understood — fretted and fumed 
afresh over the havoc wrought by U-boat 53 in home waters. 
How Gay of the Benham was waved aside by Hans Roze, 
who smashed ship after ship, leaving the American to pluck 
his citizens from a watery grave if he chose. "Here is 
congenial use for our warships," wailed the New York 
Herald. "They shall pick up women and children, while 
these German sea-wolves blockade our coasts and wreck 
our commerce. A noble task for the successors of Oliver 
Perry and Isaac Hull; Stephen Decatur, Farragut, and 
Dewey ! ' ' 

Comment of this kind had as yet but little weight. Presi- 
dent Wilson expressed his views in an identic Note to the 
warring nations, and subsequently to the Senate in Wash- 
ington. The calamity oppressed him : " Every part of the 



KEVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 21 

great family of mankind has felt the burden and terror of 
this unprecedented contest of arms." In that contest 
America would take no part, but so ardent was her concern 
for the ensuing peace, that she was (her Chief Executive 
said) willing to forego her isolation and join an over- 
whelming coalition to preserve the sanctity of a new era. 

The President spoke pontifically, and raised a great to-do. 
He had no censure for the submarine, no condemnation of 
chlorine gas or liquid flame ; no abhorrence of the Zeppelin 
airships, nor of torture and killing from Louvain to Lake 
Van, where the Kaiser's Kurdish allies had done their 
damnedest to wipe out a nation. None of these things did 
President Wilson condemn, but there was pointed allusion 
to "the freedom of the seas" which was clearly intended for 
Britain. The presence of her cruisers was "vexatious and 
uncourteous to the United States." The observer is struck 
by the different treatment meted by America to the two 
leading belligerents in this war. Mr. Lansing's Notes to 
Von Jagow contrast oddly with the sharp ring of protest to 
Sir Edward Grey over the stoppage of mails and the like 
non-vital issues. 

The British Minister, Crampton, was given his passports 
in '55 for no greater offence than enlisting soldiers for the 
Crimean War. Sackville-West was dismissed for replying 
to a decoy-letter, to which he replied advising Americans of 
British birth to vote for Grover Cleveland. Whatever be 
the cause — clever propaganda on a great scale, homage to 
success, or hyphenate influence in Congress and the coun- 
try — it cannot be denied that German and British trans- 
gressions were judged by two different standards in the 
United States. Count Bernstorff could boast of his 
"Army" — an army of crime that terrorized industrial 
America. "They have formed plots to destroy property," 
was the President's own plaint about them. "They have 
entered into conspiracies against the neutrality of the Gov- 



22 AMERICA'S DAY 

ernment; they have sought to pry into confidential trans- 
actions in order to serve interests alien to our own. ' ' 

But for the time the hyphenates were able to baffle that 
Government. Their violence had a longish run because, as 
the President reminded Congress, "We are without ade- 
quate Federal laws to deal with it." It was a German 
axiom that "Frightfulness paid" and that German insight 
into national motives was superior to that of any other. 
There was much to support this view: for example, the 
astonishing spectacle of a pro-German Spain, with an 
officer of the General Staff drinking to the victory of the 
Central Powers. "Many people in Norway," said M. Nils 
Vogt, a well-known publicist and brother of the Norwegian 
Minister in London, "admire Germany's power" — the same 
power, you will recall, that sank fifteen of Norway's ships 
in a single week to the tune of $4,200,000, to say nothing of 
drowned men, or of lingering death and torment in the open 
boats. 

Beyond question America was impressed ; millions ad- 
mired the German machine, and at one time backed it to 
win. Consider the gifts and banquets offered to Captain 
Koenig of the subaqueous liner, Deutschland, which offered 
to carry the American mails. "There's nothing like Suc- 
cess to win over these people," said the Muenchener 
Zeitung. The writer went on to purr over the ' ' atmosphere 
of victory" with which Deutschtum enveloped itself in all 
lands, but especially in the United States. It was a solid 
asset, one invariably neglected by that ponderous dunce, 
John Bull. 

I know nothing so curious as the rousing and regimenting 
from Berlin of German forces overseas. In Bismarck's day 
they were despised expatriates. "America," the Pan-Ger- 
man stalwart, Hasse of Leipzig, used to say, "is the grave 
of Deutschtum." There was a big army there, but it was 
an army of deserters, which had to be organized by the 



REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 23 

Pan-German League. So far back as 1896 the Emperor 
was appealing for help in the matter of linking these lost 
forces. There was at first no more enthusiasm for this than 
for the Navy League, whose mission was to convince the 
Empire that ''Our future lies upon the water." German 
opinion had to be educated to these movements. It was to 
the adhesion of learned men that Pan-Germanism owed its 
rise at last. There was a time when Mommsen dismissed 
members of the League as "our patriotic madmen."' Yet 
the cult continued to gain, even in the Reichstag, where it 
won men like Ilahn of the Agrarians, and Bassermann, the 
head of the National Liberal Party. 

It was Pan-Germanism that informed with new fire the 
local Liederkranz of American cities; the Saengerbund, the 
Verein-for-this, and the Gesellschaft-for-that. Devotees 
were soon raising schoppens and steins to "Der Grossere 
Deutschland," which would one day stretch from the 
Scheldt to the Persian Gulf, embracing the "Kaliphate of 
Berlin," which Sazonof outlined in the Russian Duma. As 
a dream it was magnificent, and of course it meant war. 
What mineral treasures lay in those Taurus depths ! Assy- 
ria and Babylonia should rival Oklahoma* California, and 
the Caucasus as producers of oil. Cilicia and the Syrian 
plains were to grow cotton for the German Empire. There 
was to be wool from Anatolia, seas of wheat from the Meso- 
potamian flats; flocks and herds beyond count upon classic 
pastures now given over to the rascally Bedouin. The 
whole face of Western Asia was to be changed. German 
States were to be erected well out of Britain's reach and 
beyond that hated "Seegewalt" which hampered Deutsch- 
tum's every move. 

In 1900, when the German-American "Army" was organ- 
ized, Von Holleben was Ambassador in Washington. A 
very truculent envoy — no willow-back man like Bernstorff, 
who succeeded him— Von Holleben defied Roosevelt over the 



24 AMERICA'S DAY 

Venezuela dispute until the President massed his fleet at 
Cuantanaino, and gave the Germans twenty-four hours to 
clear out. It is interesting to follow the German- American 
in those days, and watch him develop into the rabid hyphe- 
nate of 1914-15, whom the serious New York press styled 
"The most disappointing symptom of our national life since 
the disloyalty of the South in the ' 'sixties. ' ... No nation 
has ever been called upon to suffer so seditious a press as 
that published in the United States in the German tongue." 

Yet before the present war no citizens were more es- 
teemed. Germans and men of German descent had enor- 
mous influence. You found them in Congress and in the 
State Legislatures; they were bankers and railroad kings, 
manufacturers and traders on the largest scale. 

The German- American Alliance had over two million 
members; Herr Hexamer, its President, wore the Red 
Eagle Order conferred by the Emperor "for diffusing 
German Kultur in the United States." But What was the 
part which Bernstorff's "Army" was to play as citizens 
of the divided allegiance? America was their home, but 
the Fatherland must be "over all"! In the first place — 
as Bernhardi pointed out — "the German element forms a 
political centre of gravity in our favour." They were 
really missionaries. The National Alliance was charged 
with the task of introducing the German language into 
American public schools; and how this is done is told by 
Dr. H. H. Fick, of the Cincinnati Education Service. The 
cities were bombarded with circulars urging the elect to: 
"Speak only German in your home, in your club, and in 
the stores. And speak German loudly in the street cars." 

Political power was also sought. Herr Weismann, of 
Brooklyn, set the hyphenate machine in motion to defeat the 
election of a New York Congressman, and a Judge. In this 
he succeeded, and set out the moral in a rescript to all 



REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 25 

concerned. "The returns have proved that Deutschtum is 
armed and able, when the word goes forth, to seat its chosen 
men." So Germanism was already a menace to America's 
peace. Reckoning all enemy races, all shades of Teutonic 
sympathy and descent, I suppose there are nine or ten 
million adherents, beginning with the newly arrived Posen 
Poles and going on to State Governors and mayors, chiefs 
of police, and members of Parliament, whether of the Fed- 
eral Assembly or the State Grange. 

It was startling to see an ex-Cabinet Minister of the 
Roosevelt Administration — the late Von Legerke Meyer — 
prancing as a priest of Deutschtum, and warning America 
not to goad "his Fatherland" to extremes! This frenzy 
was a crippling disability in the body politic — especially 
so when joined with the Irish forces, and those of pure 
pacificism in farming areas of unrealized vastness. Here 
was a trinity which, consciously or unconsciously, hindered 
all preparation for national defence. And that this was 
the aim of Pan-Germanism is shown by the correspondence 
between Professor Appelmann of Vermont University and 
Dr. Paul Rohrbach, the protagonist of the Berlin-Bagdad 
"Kaliphate," which is Germany's dearest dream. 

The Professor wrote ''home" to ask a question that 
troubled him : ' ' Was Deutschtum in America justified in 
supporting these movements for a big army and nay}''?" 
To this Dr. Rohrbach sent an emphatic negative. "It is 
quite possible," he wrote to Appelmann, "that in an Ameri- 
can-Japanese war we might act as benevolent neutrals to- 
wards the Asiatic, thus making it easier for him to defeat 
the United States. Therefore I cannot believe that our 
ends are in any way served by German-Americans lending 
themselves to domestic schemes of armament." 

Well might the New York Tribune describe the rise and 
reign of the hyphenate as "the most shameful period of our 



26 AMERICA'S DAY 

history." "One thing is certain," said the powerful Her- 
ald, as stroke followed German stroke at home and abroad 
— "the tide of popular wrath is rising higher." But the 
journal was mistaken. There was as yet little trace of any 
such tide beyond Herald Square. America had grown ac- 
customed to the horrors of war. She quivered a while after 
each shock, and then was still, just as parted water reunites 
after the waving of a wanton hand. 

Frightfulness furnished table-talk; and this was excited 
or mild according to the zone and temperament of the 
America discussing it. "We shudder at it the first time," 
as Goethe said of the Merseburg beer, "but after we've 
drunk it a week or so we can't do without it." I know 
nothing so strange as the detachment with which grievous 
national insults were discussed, from the Great Lakes down 
to the Gulf. 

Meanwhile Johann von Bernstorff, as director of an 
internal "war," went his way with wonderful unconcern. 
Not Hangman Peters in the heart of Africa ever pursued 
a policy of crime with less regard for "the natives." 
Washington itself might have been Windhoek; the Presi- 
dent and his State Secretary, a couple of influential chiefs 
whom it were well to conciliate with suavity and the beau 
geste of a good-humoured boss. To this unique Embassy 
the Americans were of no account, as we know from Von 
Papen's captured papers. "I always tell these idiotic 
Yankees to hold their tongue," this apostle of Deutschtum 
wrote to his wife. 

What could the President do in such a welter? "Amer- 
ica has never witnessed anything like this before," he told 
the hushed Houses of Congress. "Never dreamed it pos- 
sible that men sworn to her allegiance . . . would ever turn 
in malign reaction against the Government and people who 
welcomed and nurtured them." But new purpose glowed 
in Wilson's moves to filch power from the States and con- 



REVELATION FROM THE HILL OF MARS 27 

centrate it in the national authority at Washington. For, 
after all, if democracy was to be saved, the President must 
needs become a "despot" as Lincoln did in his darkest 
hour. 



CHAPTER III 

THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 

Neutral America, uneasy and beset, hoped that Prepared- 
ness was not a very urgent issue. And, whilst endorsing 
the theory, she put the practice from her, feeling sure that 
the world's Peace would hereafter enforce itself through 
vivid memories of tedium and terror drawn from these 
ghastly years. 

Meanwhile, unpleasant truths were swallowed with a 
meekness entirely new. Girding and goading became the 
order of the day. Even the Hearst papers scolded the 
Americas, from Boston to Los Angeles. That odd farrago, 
the New York American, examined external dangers and 
rejected them all as negligible compared with the native 
lethargy that stifled military effort. It was not the yellow 
man nor the black man who was to be feared ; there was a 
more insidious foe than Germany or Britain, the Hearst 
paper found. "The great white danger is here at home — 
the danger of national conceit and heedlessness of all things 
outside our continental circle" . . . "We cry out against 
the barbarism of Europe 's war, well knowing that an army 
is only a mob. At the same time, our own mobs catch men 
and burn them alive. We call ourselves a Republic, yet 
any one can name a dozen rich men who have ten times 
the power of all the officials in the United States, because 
the Big Dozen stand for organized Money, which is the real 
ruler in our midst." 

"Our abiding peril," the American concluded, "is not 
in this or that bogey overseas, but in the home-bred hydra 
of extravagance, self-satisfaction, inefficiency, and military 

28 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 29 

weakness which will make a walk-over of any foreign at- 
tack.'' In this vein was the new literature of Prepared- 
ness conceived ; it flooded the continent, and then receded, 
apparently without leaving a lasting trace. It brought 
the dreamer back to earth ; it killed the high hope of a new 
social order handed down by the early New England set- 
tlers. For a season you could scarce open a book or a 
magazine, a pamphlet or a newspaper, without finding the 
national fear shivering up and down the page. "The 
American people is today in the plight of a man with a 
dull knife and a broken cudgel in an ever-growing circle of 
wolves." Statecraft pulled this way and Pacifism the 
other; the listless masses pulled no way, but wanted to be 
let alone. 

"We implore your help in humanity's name," was 
agonized Belgium's cry, cabled to the Great Neutral by M. 
Carton de Wiart, the Minister of Justice. But official 
America was powerless. Her own citizens called in vain 
as they drowned, nearly two years after the Lusitania 
crime. "Roosevelt is right," you heard men admit in the 
Eastern States. "We've relied too much upon moral sua- 
sion. What fools we were to throw his Big Stick in the 
ash-barrel! Now here's Europe dumping her devilry at 
our door, and no doubt perfecting trans-oceanic aircraft for 
an invasion." Pacifism was weakening at last, even in 
States of the Central West — those exuberant Edens of beef 
and grain. Here orators became shy of painting a divine 
dawn when "the lion shall eat straw, and dust shall be the 
serpent's meat." 

Those orators had many jars in the new day and found 
the old pose derided; their platform flags and water- 
pitchers, their stuffed doves and rolling periods about "citi- 
zens leaping to arms," and licking a leagued world of 
wicked aggression. It was embarrassing to have "Get 
Ready" leaflets showered from an armed plane upon beati- 



30 AMERICA'S DAY 

tude like this. Shortly before the war, Friederich von 
Bernhardi appeared on the Pacific Slope, having come from 
Japan and the Far East on a secret mission to the German- 
Americans. Dr. David Starr Jordan, a Californian paci- 
fist of note and Chancellor of the Leland Stanford Uni- 
versity, was invited to meet the famous General, who was 
instructing Bernstorff's hyphenate army. 

The German visitor was business-like and curt at these 
private meetings. "Law is but a makeshift," he told his 
hearers: "the only reality is Force." And quite as frankly 
Bernhardi dwelt upon the tenuous nature of international 
treaties when the first shot rang out and German pledges 
melted like a dicer's oath. "Not kennt kein Gebot" — 
which is to say that need covers any deed ; and reasons of 
war excused all things, from the poisoned well and the 
sinking of a hospital ship to slave-raiding and extortion 
among the heart-broken peasants of a conquered zone. 

Upon these tenets America brooded in wonder and dis- 
gust. The people grew bored with all the prompting. 
Preparedness lost its edge: surely the thing was overdone 
by these politicians! Practical men put aside alarmist 
leaflets and turned again to the literature of power, such as 
drops like dew from the Department of Agriculture in 
Washington. On the Value of Muck is a worth-while guide 
to the worthy farmer. On Tlog Cholera and Grain Smuts, 
The Best Number of Hens in One Pen, Black Rot of the 
Cabbage, Fungus Troubles of Fruit Trees, and The Toad 
as the Farmer's Friend. There was more for humanity 
here, it was argued, than in shrill appeals for machine- 
guns and bombs. 

The conversion of President "Wilson to militarism came 
as a real shock. So did the echo of German taunts in 
Democratic mouths that were trying to rouse the nation: 
"You have no Army. And such Navy as you have — a 
costly collection of ships— must stay at home." "It is our 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 31 

wooden sword," the people were told afresh, "that is the 
source of all dispraise, all flouting of our pride and hon- 
our. So it behooves us to arm, and to arm now ere the night 
of our undoing be upon us." It was a strange turn of 
Fortune's wheel that would heap weapons upon the Land 
of Peace, just as Germany, the Land of "War, sickened with 
surfeit of that ''drastic medicine," which her Saxon his- 
torian prescribed for a sluggish world. And how radiant 
Prussia's war appeared in 1914, with its dazzling dementia 
of overweening! What flaunting and flapping there was 
in pedlar Britain's face, what fanning of Deutschheit to 
white flame of passion by virtue of the sword ! 

"If you sink," cried ecstatic Fichte to the Fatherland, 
"all humanity sinks with you." Hence the cocksure onset 
of the German Michael in shimmering armour. But war- 
weariness stole away his fire ; the trampling mania grew 
tamer until Wir halten durch (We're holding out) was the 
master-word of the German masses' iron time. Last Christ- 
mas saw no cards sold in the Wertheim store showing the 
Christ-Child knocking nails into Hindenburg's wooden 
boots. All had changed, and from war's abyss nothing rose 
but plaint and rue. For in the depths no shining milliards 
of indemnity showed, but only trainloads of beloved corpses 
tied with steel wire in stark naked fours, ready for pitching 
to hell in the blast-furnaces of Seraing. 

It was the creep of this cure in the very shrine of war 
that America watched as one under a spell. She read 
letters from mutinous German mothers; she weighed the 
world's torment, and meted its tears all the way from the 
Somme to the Tigris, and from African trails back to Ver- 
dun where Prussian macht lay like a broken moth, self- 
shrivelled in its own flame. 

An unlikely season, one had said, in which to bid America 
pile up arms. And how did she take all the urging? Very 
variously. Here excitedly ; there disputatiously or feebly ; 



32 AMERICA'S DAY 

with a shrug elsewhere, or a blank stare across seas of corn 
where "God an' Natur' " for ever wars against the farmer. 
The "Get Ready" goading was often resented as treason 
against the summer mood of a people concerned with out- 
put and results, and beyond these with the uplift and the 
better life of man as they conceive it. 

"It behooves us to keep our heads," said the Western 
stalwart, whose feelings I want to interpret. And, mark 
you, he was a power in the land, as President Wilson was 
aware throughout. "Let us hug the real American hero, 
lie's no bomb-and-bayonet butcher; no gas-masked Thug 
who lies in ambush where broken men sway and drip from 
the barbed wire. No, sir. He's a benefactor to the race; 
he's the lad who brought out of Switzerland the alfalfa- 
seed which has transformed our empty West." 

America's new Civil War was one between the "Let Bes" 
and the "Get Readys." These last were stern realists 
entrenched in the hard angularity of facts. "Human na- 
ture," they owned sadly enough and with due disrelish for 
the fact, "is the same now as in the first Olympiad. We 
love war as little as you dreamers do, but we see it now as 
an immedicable sickness — one that must endure until God's 
own artillery shall blow away the stars. We're forced to 
accept the Fichtean maxim that Right has no reality unless 
fenced by Might." Between the two schools passed the 
men of graft and "pork," mainly concerned with petty loot 
and local power. 

It was therefore a time of parry and thrust, of plain 
words and sharp exordium, that withered America's olden 
pride. Her wealth was no longer extolled as a shield or 
an agent of defence at sudden need. Rather was it now 
a flaring lure, one that called down destruction as careless 
lights will do when the airship rides aloft in the dark. 
"America is an undefended gold-mine," was the note of the 
National Security League. And from both oceans (to say 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 33 

nothing of the air), with Science in diabolic ministry, claim- 
jumpers were pictured closing in upon piled-up treasure 
worth $250,000,000,000. Meanwhile ten million citizens, 
untaught in arms, stood idly by, with the ghost of Lincoln 
renewing his reproaches of the Civil War and all his lonely 
desperation. 

"Are we degenerate?" the Emancipator flung at citizens 
who refused to defend America in her darkest day. "Has 
the manhood of our race run out?" Equally blunt were 
appeals from the statesmen of 1916, yet the martial spirit 
remained anaemic and cold. "Look at China," was a hint 
from the Security League. "That unmartial giant is now 
the helot of Japan." "Look at ourselves in the 'sixties," 
urged the Navy League, which took up the call. "We 
had to let the Monroe Doctrine lapse in the chaos of our 
Civil War. And see how France took advantage ! She 
marked out Mexico as a sphere, just as Germany fastened 
on Brazil in our own day. The Third Napoleon set Maxi- 
milian on that tragic throne, and we had to wait till our 
naval arm was free before we could reassert our authority. ' ' 

All this should have been moving stuff at such a time. 
Yet Preparedness fell upon listless ears. "Speaking in all 
solemnity," said President Wilson at Kansas City after his 
conversion to the cult of force, "I assure you there is not 
a day to be lost." Within twenty-four hours of that speech 
a vote in the State Grange put two million farmers en 
record as being dead against a single dollar of increase in 
the Army and Navy appropriations. Sea-power had little 
meaning for the inland cultivator. What cared he for 
shadowy foes, Asiatic or European, when he wrestled night 
and day with "God an' Natur"? There is never any truce 
in this war with the soil ; no rest, no decisive victory, but 
eternal grappling with mysterious, elusive hosts of heaven 
and earth. There are cyclones and hailstorms, drought 
and floods; frost and snow, wild beasts and poisonous 



34 AMERICA'S DAY 

plants. A single family of Montana wolves will destroy 
$3000 worth of stock in a year. The State of Colorado 
fought in vain to keep down the costly loco-weed that 
withered her horses with a slow, incurable marasmus. One 
campaign against this weed cost $200,000. There are also 
the fruit and grain-eating birds — plagues like the sand of 
the sea for multitude. There are rabbits and rats, bob- 
cats and "bugs," or insects. Of these last the American 
farmer faces a monstrous host — a hundred thousand differ- 
ent species, and of each kind legions beyond any counting. 
These scaly foes exact a toll of $700,000,000 a year from 
forest and farm, so that Prosperity calls for a valour of 
its own if it is to win and maintain its tide. 

This peculiar valour the American possesses in a high 
degree. Moreover, he adds to it a rugged joy of battle 
which turns every obstacle into hope. I would call this 
strength the very mainspring of American character; it is 
the test by which all men are weighed and appraised in 
that strenuous land. "Ef our woes had a Million Club, 
the same as 'Frisco has," a grim Texan put to me in Gal- 
veston, "they'd be out o' business in no time. As it is, 
they jus' sharpen our wits. Wha's the boll-weevil to me, 
man? Why, he's a noble inseck boostin' the price o' my 
cotton! As f'r the green-bug, he's an angel in disguise 
that forces the farmer to vary his crops. I tell ye tha's 
the true Amur 'can sperit." And so it is — a spirit of gem- 
like hardness and nimble flame, focussed on the day's work 
and oblivious of all else. 

Men upborne by this force are naturally slow to add 
fellow-workers in other lands to the crowding pests that 
prey with devilish ingenuity upon labour and life. Here, 
it seems to me, is the secret seat oi' that languor in the 
matter of America's defence. In the election of 1916 Wil- 
son ruined his rival's chance with a simple phrase, followed 
by a damning question : "He wants War ; what other 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 35 

alternative is there to the policy I have pursued?" Upon 
this a political revolution was wrought, soothing the unrest 
of a prosperous people vaguely impelled and drawn against 
their will into the seething vortex of the older nations. 
But the cocksure days are over, the days of beaming and 
spread-eagling, with happy assurance that potency and 
privilege lurked in the American name. During the war 
newspaper envoys were sent abroad to seek counsel and 
guidance in all quarters, from Vatican halls to Verdun it- 
self, where democratic Joffre (that saviour of France) was 
asked to judge between America's men of peace and those 
who would "Prepare" with ships and guns and men for 
some tremendous Day. 

In burly silence the soldier heard the case for Peace and 
War. It was the old dilemma of a demos swayed by every 
wind of words; a people fatally fond of its own ease and 
now tossed with dim dismay. 

There was a frank parade of this before the French 
Generalissimo. Misgivings were quoted, from those of 
Hamilton to Wilson himself. . . . Now had he any fetters, 
Joffre was asked, to put about these free-footed fears? 
No, he had not. That captain of hosts had nothing to say 
about the people's control of foreign affairs, or the demand 
for russet Yeas and honest kersey Noes, instead of gold- 
laced guile in chariots and grand saloons, with princely 
precedence at Court and table. The great soldier was not 
to be drawn into a "story," any more than the late King 
Oscar of Sweden, whose aid the American editor sought "on 
the exceptional terms of twenty dollars a word." On the 
whole it was a meagre interview. All that fell from the 
Gallic oracle was quiet insistence upon "the quality of self- 
discipline!" There was need for it, this man of few words 
explained, in a Republic where the claims of liberty and the 
individual were unduly loud. Joffre extolled the suppres- 
sion of self — L'ouUi de soi pour V ideal — which all the 



36 AMERICA'S DAY 

world saw in the stricken heart of France. After all, what 
was the love of country but the white flame sprung from 
the mystical union of race and soil — Par V immemorial et 
severe hymenee. . . . Discipline — just that and no more. 
The stifling of weedy caprice; the calm O France, tant que 
iu voudras of young poets and painters, already swallowed 
in the ditch of deadly eyes. And what artists they were, 
what ministers of grace and high gifts ! Of these lyric 
souls — ecrivains morts pour la Patrie — France had a shining 
legion. They left the sunlit heights for a vile sewer of 
butchery; they chose a bloody death before the Chopin-life 
of beauty, incense, and dreams. . . . 

After all, that lovely spirit and unswerving choice was 
not peculiar to Europe. It glowed in George Washington's 
life as the American caller was reminded by his soldier-host. 
It was seen in Lincoln's faith when his friends fell away in 
the night of terror. There was little need for the United 
States to seek advice abroad, for she had heroic voices of 
her own. "A nation is not worthy to be saved," President 
Garfield told the Lower House in '64, "if in the hour of its 
fate it will not gather up its jewels of manhood and go 
down into the conflict, however bloody and doubtful, re- 
solved upon measureless ruin or complete success." 

Nevertheless, Joffre's "quality of discipline" proved a 
hard saying to the prosperity of the United States, where 
military service was ever a hateful thing. In the stormy 
'Sixties it was called "unconstitutional" — an attack upon 
liberty which inflamed the mob to murder and madness. 
Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago ran red with riot against 
the Lincoln "drafts"; the New York streets were full of 
furies carrying firearms, iron bars, and knives. Federal 
troops were clubbed to death with their own muskets; and 
when Colonel O'Brien drew a pistol to defend his men he 
was hanged upon a lamp-post and his body beaten by the 
outraged proletariat. Yet one and all knew America's 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 37 

future was at stake on that fateful April day when Beaure- 
gard's guns opened fire upon Fort Sumter. 

Down to 1917 the panoply of war was decried by the 
zealots of moral suasion, of whom Mr. Bryan was the great 
exemplar. At dove-and-brotherhood meetings these men 
deplored the genius wasted in war devices and proposed a 
more rational use for them. Thus aeroplanes might locate 
the forest fire — that summer curse of the wilderness — and 
warn American settlers in the path of the flames. The 
submarine was given a clear commercial future up and 
down the Alaska coast, where the winter floes prevent ordi- 
nary craft from landing Uncle Sam's mails. 

So the first idea of a national army vanished, and with 
it went War-Secretary Garrison, whose plan the President 
would not openly endorse. For Woodrow Wilson, with 
perfect knowledge of his people, was a slow and cautious 
convert to the ' ' Get Ready ' ' creed. He knew that America 
in the mass was indifferent to a huge army, if not actually 
hostile to it. 

His attitude to the notorious Haj^ Army Bill was a seri- 
ous error. It was a deplorable measure ; the largest and 
most recent looting of the Federal Treasury by politicians 
who love "pork" — America's name for graft which use 
and custom have made respectable, especially in the State 
centres that profit by it. Never has Washington seen such 
flagrant lobbying in both Houses of Congress as that which 
marked the passage of the so-called Army Reorganization. 
Never were the meanest of provincial interests arrayed so 
cynically against the nation. 

The forty-eight States have armies of their own. I shall 
not dwell upon the performance of these troops, for the 
story is tedious as well as grotesque. As soldiers they were 
all but entirely negligible — untrained, unequipped, ill- 
disciplined, and physically unfit. They were a social as 
well as a quasi-military body ; on festal days they gave the 



38 AMERICA'S DAY 

Governor's estate a certain figure and equipage. The 
Militia or National Guard could be called out to quell riots, 
but they were not under national authority, and swore 
allegiance only to their several States. The Dick Law of 
1903 brought a certain measure of Federal control, and 
this was carried further by the National Defence Act of 
1916. But the State Militias were still forty-eight easy- 
going armies. They served the local politicians, but were 
of little use to Federal officers worried over the problems 
of invasion and all-American defence. 

"Could anything be more scandalous," asked General 
Butt, "than to take green men off the streets and send 
them down to the Border half-equipped, or with no equip- 
ment at all?" The men of Arkansas left with umbrellas 
and straw hats. Minnesota had "everything but uniforms 
and guns." The Illinois cavalry had no horses. Iowa 
boggled over the Federal oath ; so did New Jersey, Mary- 
land, and Massachusetts — whose Guardsmen were presently 
poisoned by their own rations ! It was an aggrieved citizen 
army that kept watch on the Rio Grande and wrote letters 
to Colonel Roosevelt, of which the burden was "Never 
again !" . . . 

The Hay-Chamberlain "pork" Bill was jockeyed through 
Congress by parochial lobbies and local champions, who are 
the worst enemies of their country, and are now thoroughly 
discredited. The idea underlying ' ' pork ' ' and political loot 
is that the Federal authority exists, not to be loyally served, 
but to be milked and plundered whenever possible; that 
Federal taxation of the States is really a system by which 
money flows to a common centre, and is — or should be — 
piped back again for distribution in "our district." A 
typical case was a bill to appropriate $75,000 for a post- 
office in McKee (Ky.) . This turned out to be a village with 
a population of two hundred souls! But the appetite for 
"pork," like other ugly symptoms, is not so keen as it was. 



THE SETTING FORTH OF STRANGE GODS 39 

There is everywhere a desire and demand for decency and 
social service among the mixed communities of this vast 
land. Thus the little town of Bipon (Wis.) renounced an 
appropriation for a public building that was to cost $75,000. 
Ripon's Commercial Club asked to have that sum applied 
to Preparedness for national defence, preferably in the 
matter of aircraft. 



CHAPTER IV 

"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION" 

It is no easy matter to present in brief a clear idea of a 
"country" whose frontier has advanced two thousand miles 
in a single life-span. Let me take that of Colonel W, F. 
Cody, better known as "Buffalo Bill," because of his task 
of feeding with buffalo-meat the trackmen of the Kansas- 
Pacific Railway. Advancing in years, the Colonel settled 
down at last as farmer and irrigator in the dry lands of 
Wyoming. But the man's real nunc di mitt is came in 1883, 
when he put his big Show on the road and knew the Wild 
"West for ever tamed. 

Dan Boone, Dave Crockett, Kit Carson, and Bill Cody — 
here in four dare-devil names is evoked the fascinating 
story of pioneer conquest in the United States. Her epic 
period is strangely near to us. The figure of Lincoln has 
all the magic of myth for America's younger generation, 
yet their fathers knew the Slave-emancipator in the flesh. 
Colonel Cody's life saw the passing of the Redskin, with 
his teepees, and squaws and scalps. Today the Shoshone 
brave wears a billycock hat and a Semi-Ready suit by Kup- 
penheimer "as advertised for dressy College men"! The 
Five Civilized Tribes — Choctaw, Chickasaw, and the rest — 
are now demurely herded and taught in the Reservations. 
Black Hawk and Sitting Bull of 1918 are flourishing den- 
tists and attorneys: the smaller fry accept bread-and- 
blanket doles from a paternal Government in Washington. 
The big chief, once lord of the lonely horizon, now scuds 
abroad in a Ford car hunting a drink of bad whisky in 
some corrugated iron cave, far from the omniscient eye of 
Prohibition. Sic transit gloria mundi! 

40 



"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION 41 

Many States, like Texas and California, are potential 
empires in area and natural resources. All of them lay 
claim to sovereignty, and this is clearly defined in the orig- 
inal Constitution. When the Peace of Paris closed the War 
of Independence in 1783, there were thirteen autonomous 
States with no common bond at all, and certainly no thought 
of Federation. New York especially opposed the idea. 

To the eloquent Hamilton, the early Continental Con- 
gress presented an "awful spectacle" of stormy disunion 
and jealous watch upon State prerogatives and rights. 
Delegates eyed each other as foreigners, alert and wary as 
Prussian envoys at a Hague debate upon Disarmament. 
None was a patriot whose aims outsoared the boundary of 
his own State: Federation, Government from a common 
centre for the common weal — here was a notion long and 
violently resisted. A "League of Friendship" was put 
forward instead, as between striving nations of a virgin con- 
tinent, beset with dim perils and engaged in a sauve qui 
pent. 

Washington and Franklin, Madison and Hamilton, had 
an all but impossible task, but at length they won the States 
to a Federal Constitution. It soon fell into utter chaos. 
Congress alone could decide upon war, but it was powerless 
to raise or equip an army. In case of dispute, Congress 
was to arbitrate between the States, but either party could 
(and did) flout the Federal decision. It rested with Con- 
gress to make foreign treaties, yet any State might violate 
these with impunity. Washington himself wrote to the 
autocratic governors urging the need for a national revenue 
to be raised by Congress. To this there was only a stinted 
and grudging response. Some of the States pleaded pov- 
erty, and fell into arrears. Others offered their own woe- 
fully depreciated paper. A few declined with wrath until 
delinquents had paid their share. 

It was a phase that could not last. "We are labour- 



42 AMERICA'S DAY 

ing hard," wrote Alexander Hamilton, "to establish in this 
country principles more and more national ... so that we 
may be neither Greek nor Trojan but thoroughly Ameri- 
can." The task is not yet complete, for States' Rights have 
always had their champions, of whom the most noted was 
that sturdy Democrat, Thomas Jefferson, the third Presi- 
dent of the Union. A more formidable advocate was Jef- 
ferson Davis, who, in a dramatic Senate speech, announced 
the complete severance of his own "nation" from the 
United States. On February 9, 1861, Davis was elected 
President of the seceding Confederation. He desired to 
live in peace with the older Union, but there was a growing 
menace in his professions. If he were not "let alone," 
Davis at length declared, those Yankees should "smell 
Southern powder and feel Southern steel." Which, in- 
deed, they did during the four years of America's domestic 
war. 

I shall not venture far into the maze of American politics, 
but I must show both parties warring in the several States, 
whose internal affairs are beyond the control of the Federal 
Government. The result is confusion and much frittering 
of the national spirit in unworthy ways. Each State is the 
battle-ground of unseemly forces, and there is call for a 
Man, as there was for Hughes in New York and for Taft 
in Ohio, against Boss Cox and his evil works. It is in State 
crusades of this kind that national careers are made. 
Twenty years ago "Wisconsin was in the clutch of the 
brewery-ring of Milwaukee and the railroad ring of Madi- 
son. In this case Robert La Follette was the liberator of 
the State. New Hampshire broke the bonds of her railroad 
ring through Robert P. Bass; and, after many years of 
shameless corruption and misgovernment, the great Key- 
stone State of Pennsylvania threw off boss control with the 
aid of Governor Brumbaugh. 

But the most notable instance of the oppressed State and 



"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION 43 

its champion is California and Hiram W. Johnson ; he was 
twice Governor, and is now a Senator in Congress. For a 
generation the political rottenness of this glorious land 
was beyond belief. In municipal looting the San Francisco 
gang out-Tammanied Tammany Hall even in the classic 
reign of Boss Tweed. Under Abe Ruef and Mayor Schmitz 
(who wound up in gaol) the great city sank to sordid 
depths unparalleled in the history of American robbery and 
graft. The Pacific State had long ceased to be a republic, 
far less a democracy. It was ruled by the Southern Pacific 
Railroad with a tyrannous grip which is difficult for the 
European reader to realize. First Huntington and then 
Harriman was absolute "Tsar" over a country three times 
the size of England, and iron rule was directed from a 
"Wall Street office three thousand miles away. 

The State Legislature in Sacramento was made up of 
voting machines nominated by the Southern Pacific. Cali- 
fornia's laws were matters of bargain and sale. It was the 
Railroad that appointed judges, and broke them, too, when 
they disobeyed. . . . Here enters Hiram Johnson. How 
that Quixotic orator captured the Republican nomination 
and smashed the preposterous machine is too queer and 
tedious a tale to tell fully here. First of all he got in 
touch with the farmers, as the reform party did in Kansas. 
There were times when the young Governor despaired of 
success, so securely were the Southern Pacific interests en- 
trenched, so lavish and unscrupulous were their agents in 
the doling of bribes. Ignored by the press, Johnson set out 
like a religious revivalist, spouting at the street corners and 
haranguing 'wayback farmers under the shadow of Mount 
Shasta, where railroads and politics were all but unknown. 

It was a typical American crusade, but at long last the 
prophet found honour in that sunny land. At his meet- 
ings there were now reporters and advance agents. And 
from citrus-groves and fields the cultivators came running 



44 AMERICA'S DAY 

at the sound <>f cow-bells on the Johnson cars. They heard 
him gladly, if a little dubiously at first. "Will you keep 
faith with us?" the people asked of their new apostle, when 
lie showed the way to brighter things, and the crippling of 
the Corporation autocracy that ruled them all. Johnson 
said he would — and he did. The reformer led his democ- 
racy against the big business and overthrew it. Today 
California is the freest and most progressive State in the 
Union ; its new Senator in Washington is even hailed as 
"Presidential timber" for the 1920 election. 

Such are the issues and interests that draw men from 
really national affairs. The central Government is well 
aware of this weakness; and there is a quiet but forceful 
tendency to break down State control and merge more and 
more authority in the Federal Congress. It is recognized 
that forty-eight sovereignties working at cross-purposes 
must hamper America's development, both internally and 
in foreign affairs. Industrial justice is not possible with 
forty-eight different codes governing accidents in factories 
as well as sanitary conditions, old-age pensions, and social 
welfare in general. A trading company may register in 
one State and operate in another, with serious results alike 
to debtors, creditors, and customers. A valid marriage in 
one State may be held null and void in another. There are 
thirty-five different causes for absolute divorce recognized 
by the various States of the Union. But not one of these 
is recognized by all ! 

Nor is there any uniformity in the per capita taxation, 
which ranges from $9.47 in Nevada down to $1.72 in South 
Carolina. In some States the Judges are elected by the 
people, in others by the Legislature ; or again, they may be 
appointed by the Governor. In Texas and Arizona the 
Mexican vara of thirty-three inches is used in land meas 
urement; of course it is unknown in the North. Legal 
holidays vary in all the States. Jeff Davis's birthday is a 



"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION 45 

holiday in Virginia, but Good Friday is ignored in New 
York. In fact, each State is a law unto itself, and looks 
harshly upon its neighbour when that neighbour is stricken 
with a deadly disease. The old days of shot-gun quaran- 
tines disappeared with the yellow fever; but during the 
mysterious plague of paralysis in New York in 1916 there 
was a panic over the water in New Jersey, where boats and 
trains full of convalescents were turned back with senseless 
cruelty. 

Inter-State quarrels crop up at times, like that between 
North Dakota and Minnesota over the marketing of wheat. 
But far more serious are the conflicts between individual 
States and the Federal authority in Washington. The 
gravest of these was the stand which California took (and 
still takes) over the penal laws which she passed against 
the Japanese settlers in her midst. This brought the shadow 
of secession again, and even the menace of international war 
with this I deal elsewhere. But the cleavage of States and 
peoples was a condition which could not last. Berlin was 
aware of it; the German Embassy in Washington traded 
upon it for two years of the Great War. Thus far the 
national consciousness showed no flame ; the far-flung States 
were immersed in problems of peculiar diversity. Thus 
Iowa was warring on her rats, Nevada on her mad coyotes 
and the rabies in her flocks and herds. Louisiana was con- 
cerned with the hyacinth that choked her waterways. 
Rural Minnesota talked of model farms, West Virginia 
defied the Supreme Court to collect her ante helium debt of 
twelve million dollars. And that mountain fastness, Wyo- 
ming (it is larger than Britain), was forming a game pre- 
serve for the greater antelopes and bears. 

These things were real ; the world-war came as a tiresome 
yarn to be swallowed on the Tertullian principle: " 'Tis 
impossible, and therefore to be believed!" These people 
praised Lord Fisher and shut his genius from their Hall 



46 AMERICA'S DAY 

of Fame. But there we shall find Lord Lister, the gentle 
healer who "with one gentle stroking wiped away ten thou- 
sand tears out of the life of man." 

It was curious to see how America grew tired of war in 
war-time, and fell back upon her own isolation. The great 
topic was now tabu, being a source of social friction and a 
business bar. "Leave it outside!" became an office door 
appeal in New York City. One heard hyphenates dilate 
upon the German primacy in war, its novel engines and 
twisted technics of destruction. But these speakers were 
quickly tamed ; there seemed no prospect of universal serv- 
ice even on the Swiss lines, except after some invasive coup 
such as was planned by Von Edelsheim in 1901, and de- 
bated in the Army and Navy Club of Berlin. In this 
scheme stress was laid upon the fact that Germany was, 
of all Powers, the one best fitted to conquer America. Ref- 
erence to the weakness of the Regular Army, to the un- 
trained Militias, and "the inexperience of the American 
Staff" showed how well informed the Baron was when 
outlining this adventure. 

It was the State patriot who all but defeated the idea 
of a unifying Constitution; and after sixty years he all 
but ruined the national structure over the questions of 
Secession and Slavery. States' Rights have been pleaded 
to delay or defeat urgent laws relating to pure food, child 
labour, transportation, and the conservation of natural re- 
sources. These Rights have also been invoked to rally and 
shelter anti-social forces and to arouse sectional bias and 
local prejudice. But they have no place in the new Ameri- 
canism of 1918. In the Supreme Court the utterance of 
Justice Hughes in the Minnesota and Shreveport eases lays 
down the all-American law in a classic decision: "There 
is no room in our scheme of Government for the assertion 
of State Right in hostility to the authorized exercise of 
Federal control." 



"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION 47 

Serious thinkers and leaders of public opinion are every- 
where alive to this peculiar danger. Thus in the Senate 
Mr. B. R. Tillman of South Carolina, Chairman of the 
Committee on Naval Affairs, condemned the State patriot 
in forcible terms: "It is as though men were crazy over 
local affairs," he declared, "and had no broad national 
grasp at all." Each State has its own floral emblem: 
Alabama, the golden-rod; Florida, the orange-blossom; 
Mississippi, the magnolia ; Wyoming, the gentian ; Utah, the 
sego lily, and so on. 

Before the Great War the ablest thinkers were afraid 
the United States was less of a nation than it was when 
Washington wrote his political testament over a century 
ago. Senators, professors, and social reformers pointed to 
alien forces that were fast corroding the finer traditions 
and setting up standards that clashed with them. ' ' You 
have in a common cause f ought and triumphed together," 
the First President wrote in his historic Address. The 
new-born nation's independence was "the work of joint 
councils and efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and 
successes. ' ' 

But many of the newer States know nothing of such 
bonds, largely peopled as they are by Europeans of every 
race, intent upon material success and the good time denied 
them in the older lands. These settlers also tend to become 
State patriots. They show little or no interest in foreign 
affairs; they have Jeff Davis's own desire to be "let alone" 
by the Federal Government in Washington. ' ' We are still 
sectional," Senator W. G. Harding of Ohio was sorry to 
say. "Not divided on the old Mason and Dixon line, but 
by East and West, North and South, coast and interior; 
financial and industrial on the one hand, and agricultural 
on the other." 

This parochial spirit survived the dismissal of Bern- 
storff and the rupture of relations with the Central Powers. 



48 AMERICA'S DAY 

It was the despair of men of larger grasp who would have 
had the President take a bolder line and fling at the masses 
the calm Lincoln-query: ''What is our Duty?" They 
pointed to France, their sister Republic, just then "a-tingle 
with grief and glory," as her prose-poet said. What a pity 
"Wilson was no incendiary of souls, voicing the jeunesse 
endiablce of Verdun and the Somme to a quick-witted, 
warm-hearted people like the Americans! A man of apos- 
tolic fire would have pictured the women of France up- 
standing in the nave of Notre Dame with streaming eyes 
and rapt senses on the burning appeal of Pere Janvier; it 
rang like a challenge to the eternal Throne: ''Justice for 
France, God ! ' ' This appeal the organ lifted with stormy 
splendour to storied windows and darkling heights above 
the swordecl statue of the Warrior- Virgin in the apse. 

But Wilson erred on the cautious side. The world-war 
was to him a mystery in these neutral days. "Its origin 
and objects," the President said, "have never been dis- 
closed. ' ' The Wilson of that time was a shocked spectator 
of the scene, with Mediation in his left hand when returning 
sanity should prompt an exhausted Europe to sue for it. 
. . . "With its causes and objects we are not concerned. 
The obscure fountains from which the stupendous flood 
burst forth we are not interested to search or explore." 
How different it was when the rising waters threatened the 
speaker's native land! 

It was this incuria which made America reckon the Allied 
cause in headlines and press sensations. The European 
battles were at length no more than "movie" features. 
They eclipsed the home-made thrills of colliding trains and 
men who leaped from sky-scrapers or tackled sharks on the 
sea floor. But it was mainly on business lines that the 
colossal struggle was judged. "War films faked" was an 
urgent telegram from Little Rock (Ark.) to an agent for 
the Somme pictures. "No smoke and soldiers laughing." 



"STATES' RIGHTS" VERSUS THE NATION 49 

. . . "Sending another," was the prompt reply: "Clouds 
of smoke and men sobbing. One dollar a foot — guaranteed 
American make!" 



CHAPTER V 

AMERICA IN THE MAKING 

For two years or more, a lively press and a listless people 
were discrepant features of the United States. They were 
also the subject of puzzled comment on this side. The New 
York Herald, the Sun, Tribune, and Evening Post expressed 
themselves impeccably throughout, and with due wrath 
against German methods. Yet the American masses were 
but faintly moved. If they were stirred at all it was only 
between editions, so to say. One should not forget that the 
New York papers spoke for the cultured East alone. They 
did not reflect the masses at large any more than the Lon- 
don Times may be said to speak for Tyneside, or the Morn- 
ing Post for the Norfolk farmer or the mechanics of Wool- 
wich and Canning Town. 

I am aware of the paradox which maintains that a me- 
tropolis is unrepresentative of its own nation. One hears 
this of London and Paris, of Rome, Vienna, and Madrid. 
Whether it be true of Europe is here immaterial; but let 
me say with all emphasis that no intelligent American can 
be found who will claim that New York City is in the 
smallest degree "American." It is, in fact, the most for- 
eign of all the world centres; a native of Manhattan Bor- 
ough is by no means easily found. Foreign names pre- 
dominate in New York. All the races of Europe and Asia 
live here and labour in vortex rings of nationality. Over 
in Brooklyn you may lose yourself in a new Naples. Wil- 
liamsburg is wholly German ; Washington Street is Syrian, 
and reads a Daily Mirror in the Arabic script (Meerat el- 
Gharb). Mott Street and Pell Street are Chinese, with 

50 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 51 

throngs of yellow men slipping past each other like eels in 
a tub. 

In a thousand night-schools English is taught to new 
citizens who have formally "asked for their first papers." 
But these hordes are all apt to lapse into their own tongue ; 
or they take no interest in study after a day's work at the 
highest tension. It is above all New York which deserves 
the name of "the melting-pot." It contains nearly a mil- 
lion Jews — a type of immigrant who will not be lured out 
on to the farms. The Jew loves New York City, where 
ninety per cent, of America's money is. Here in truth is 
an Israelitish camp to awe the modern Balaam: "Who 
can count the dust of Jacob?" One person in every four 
is a Jew whom you meet on Manhattan Island. 

It is largely in her make-up, then, that the secret of 
America's apatlry must be sought, apart from causes that 
are more obscure. If the special correspondent from Lon- 
don would take the ferry over to the Ellis Island Immigra- 
tion Station, he might see America in the making and 
understand the swamping of the United States by alien 
stocks which became a problem so far back as 1885. It is 
astonishing that this Door of Hope has been neglected by 
British editors and enlightenment sought from the "men 
higher up" who live in wholly different spheres. Let me 
present the rushing of these foreign floods, for surely no 
such human portent, no politico-social factor was ever so 
strangely staged. 

I shall go no further than the Franco-Prussian War, 
when the population of America was less than that of 
Britain at the last census. And Britain is smaller than 
the single States of Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona. Today 
America musters over 105,000,000 souls, white, black, yel- 
low, and red. It is a welter of contradictions, a riot of 
inconsistency ; and yet there is something in the very atmos- 
phere which makes for national traits — the clash of races, 



52 AMERICA'S DAY 

immensity of area, "States' Rights," and local patriotism 
notwithstanding. In thirty years America doubled her 
population, such was the spate of foreign peoples tumbling 
in by the shipload. The Immigration Commissioner was 
once expecting two million new citizens a year. 

Ellis Island, out in New York Harbour, was well named 
"Uncle Sam's Sieve," and I shall show it in pre-war opera- 
tion. It is a breezy, emotional place, with vistas of spar- 
kling waters ; great ocean ships and fussy tugs, scows carry- 
ing railway-cars, ferry-boats, black with passengers, and a 
procession of double-decked barges plying between the island 
and the latest arrival of the immigrant fleet. There are 
sea-noises and land-noises, shrill whistlings and distant 
boomings. The roar of the city drifts over from Manhat- 
tan, with its sky-line of pinnacles and deep canons full of 
fierce endeavour. Behind is the Statue of Liberty, whose 
torch is now ablaze in the dark ; the colossus by day has a 
background of factory shafts and trailing smoke. 

Here is the first barge-load from the ship, and a fantastic 
crowd pours out to the tune of "Presto!" from a cheery 
American inspector. The big red building yonder is the 
gateway of the United States. Go in with the awestruck 
rabble and ascend to the gallery. Now look down into the 
vaulted hall where future Americans are sorted in two and 
twenty pens, with high steel railings in between. All are 
examined by doctors and the unfit weeded out ; the rest pass 
from fold to fold, answering questions at each official desk. 

Listen to the languages in this busy hive of citizenship. 
In these pens are races that have never met before ; people 
far apart as the Sicilian and the Hebrew patriarch from the 
Russian Pale. Three-fourths of the crowd' are from south- 
eastern Europe — from Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, 
Poland, and South Russia. Seventy-five per cent, are farm 
and village folk, with an average of twenty dollars between 
them and that "dependency" which means deportation. 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 53 

The men are mostly under forty, pioneers in tins magical 
land; their families will come on later, when Fortune's 
trail has been blazed, and the father is doing well. They 
are not pretty people to look at, these of the Ellis Island 
cages. They are primitive creatures, coarse and crude — too 
often illiterate, and on that account not so acceptable to 
America in her day of doubt. . . . 

A Polish dwarf is prompting a nervous giant near the 
inspector's desk. A Magyar girl in a dull red shawl, with 
a guitar under her arm, stares up at the Stars and Stripes 
of the gallery. On the seat beside her is a cane hamper, 
with a pillow, a blue teapot, and other belongings. There 
are muffled fights between the Greek and Irish children. 
Picturesque dudes of Bessarabia and the Bukowina are busy 
with mirror and comb, oblivious to all else. There are 
burly Finns and Bulgars ; gaunt Armenian women, Syrian 
maids of real beauty from the Lebanon, odds and ends from 
the rayah races of the Kaliph in Europe and Asia Minor. 

Steady streams of immigrants are passing out. A wait- 
ing-room is raucous with relief in many tongues; shrill 
inquiries are made for the Jersey City ferry, and the New 
Citizens' train in the Pennsylvania station. Their baggage 
is quaint or mediaeval; humpy sacks, boxes of tin, and 
gaily painted wood secured with rawhide strips. Hundreds 
of them have no heavy baggage at all. These are mere 
straws in humanity's tide; sad-eyed waifs with all their 
worldly goods tied about their persons, and rattling oddly 
as they pass to and fro. There is one cage marked "Tem- 
porarily Detained"; telegrams must be sent to friends 
about the occupants of this place. 

They may be young girls, to whom Uncle Sam stands 
in loco parentis. His officials are very suspicious of "do- 
mestic agency*" men, who may be White Slave raiders 
doing a big home trade as well as exporting victims down 
to Rio and Buenos Aires. 



54 AMERICA'S DAY 

The telegraph operator has at last a sheaf of messages to 

send: "Detained Ellis Island, steamer . Need ten 

dollars. Also proof of your ability to support." For 
America has a horror of paupers and prostitutes. The pen 
of the "Detained" is at onee a gay place, and a sad. Boys 
and girls are merry enough, buying cakes from a Polish 
pedlar; but in shadowy corners sit the old and weary, in 
every attitude of dejection. Some of these have been de- 
tained for days, well enough lodged and fed by the author- 
ities. Before the week is over they must go before a Board 
of Inquiry. . . . Haply there is no answer to that appeal 
flashed into great American spaces. If the immigrant be 
old and feeble, he is deported — a word of damnation in the 
Ellis Island pens. . . . 

An official in uniform calls names from a list, and the 
hall seethes with excitement. Four or five nondescripts 
step forward, tremulous with glee. These pass down a 
corridor into the "Lovers' Lane," which an inspector tells 
you "holds more kisses to the square inch than any other 
spot on earth." Here in a room walled with wire-netting 
the "American" pioneer, incoherent and overdressed, 
greets his people from overseas. He has already prepared 
a home for them in the jostling arena. Over-ardent swains 
are not allowed to claim their sweethearts when these young 
persons arrive alone. But the Island has a marriage- 
bureau of its own that works all day and makes love re- 
spectable from its outset on American soil. 

Three judges hold session upstairs in the Board of In- 
quiry, and before them sit doubtful cases — red-eyed or 
listless folk, indignant or full of dread. In the Deportation- 
Room are some contract labourers — Bulgarians hired for 
the anthracite mines. They were marked down at Varna 
by an official of the American Federation who advised 
Ellis Island by cable of this infraction of the law. For 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 55 

such cases there is no hope ; all are sent back to Europe at 
the steamship company's expense. 

Now ' ' a wise man 's country, ' ' as Zeno says, ' ' is where he 
finds happiness," so it would appear that this migration 
flatters the United States. But sentiment in the matter 
has long since flown. It stands to common sense that many 
of these people are not the best citizens of the nations they 
have left. Think what it means to tear up home by the 
roots; to leave one's own land and sail across the ocean to 
begin life anew in a continent of strange ways and foreign 
language, with extremes of climate which are very trying 
to the European. 

It is depressing to watch the bitterness of the disinherited 
in these sorting-pens; the surliness of outcasts and trade- 
fallen failures — yet no sooner do they step ashore at the 
Battery than they fill their lungs with American air, which 
has a marvellous effect. Giani or Pietro, from Ajaccio or 
Messina, is soon a transfigured man ; a hustler — a devotee of 
America's dare and do, poring upon success-books or study- 
ing law between each pair of boots he shines (at five cents) 
outside the corner saloon. At home in Corsica, Giani 
dreamed his life away in a hot sun with no more fortune, 
no more future than a few goats and a crop of chestnuts 
that dropped into his lazy mouth as he lay in the shade. 

What is the secret of this sudden aspiring — of this young 
Rodin-passion — haunted day and night with the idea of 
doing quelque chose de puissant f It is the mysterious 
American element that favours the transmutation. One is 
reminded of the trout which in a Scottish burn may never 
exceed a fingerling size, yet when placed in New Zealand 
waters attain a weight of five-and-thirty pounds. All the 
same, America's pride and satisfaction in these hordes has 
long been jarred, especially when the million-mark was 
passed in 1905. 



56 AMERICA'S DAY 

The insistent theme of thinkers was that, as immigra- 
tion grew in volume, the quality of it fell off until the 
"men (and women, too), who are to vote" were eyed in 
the mass as questionable Americans. Statesmen began to 
discuss and classify the various races in the throng. Some 
were more industrious than others; some more ambitious, 
more assimilable. Others, again, would not respond to 
the American challenge. They herded together ; they lived 
doubtfully, even calling for special police and secret agents 
of the law in polyglot squads, such as one finds in New 
York, Chicago, and San Francisco. This falling off in 
quality may be said to coincide with the rise to power 
and wealth of the German Empire, which checked and with- 
held the most desirable of immigrants. 

So early as 1885 Teutonic and Celtic sources were thin- 
ning out; a prosperous Ireland could only spare 20,000 
of her sons in 1914, whereas she sent 60,000 in 1891. As 
Northern and Western Europe began to keep their people, 
there was an abrupt migration of Iberian and Slavic stocks 
from the South and East; and these, America tried to tell 
herself, would be at least a passable substitute. The sta- 
tistics of the change are remarkable. Thus in 1885 Ger- 
many showed an immigration percentage of 31 ; by 1900 
it had dropped to 4. The Scandinavian nations fell from 
14 in 1880 to 4 in 1905. Meanwhile the "ramshackle em- 
pire" of Austria-Hungary was readjusting the balance 
with Magyar and Czech, Ruthenian and Serb, Croat, Ru- 
man, Slovak, Slovene, and Jew. Here the American table 
shows a percentage of 1 in the year 1870, leaping to 13 
in 1895, and a decade later to 27. Italy's percentage was 
2 in 1875 and 22 in 1905. In the same period the Russian 
influx rose from 4 to 18, whilst Britain's contribution 
crumbled from 30 or 40 to 13. 

Applying the dollar test, it was seen that the German 
or Dane brought with him twice as much money as those 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 57 

stagey figures from South-Eastern Europe. The average 
Sicilian or Greek or Jew who landed at the Battery with 
$15 in his pocket was voted poor American stuff. 

Worse still, out of a million aliens more than one-fourth 
could neither read nor write. Accordingly, the restriction 
screw was given further turns, and the steamship com- 
panies responded, having grown tired of taking back to 
Europe undesirables whom America refused to admit. It 
is beyond question that, in spite of all precautions, thou- 
sands of aliens have invaded the country who were on the 
verge of dependency, defectiveness, and crime. Then 
came the perplexing task of distribution, so long the crux 
of statesmen and social students; of professors of eco- 
nomics and sociology, the press and pulpit, the learned 
and industrial bodies, and the Labour Unions. At Immi- 
gration Conferences evidence of shocking congestion in 
the cities was produced. The Jewish immigrant especially 
will go no farther afield than New York, where his race 
has enormous power. Out of 694,172 Jews landed at Ellis 
Island, 504,181 remained in the city and settled there. 
Out of a million foreigners admitted, the Census Bureau 
shows that well over one-third claimed the State of New 
York as their "ultimate destination." 

Most of that million were bound for the cities or suburbs 
of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. Amer- 
ica was vexed to learn that seven-tenths of these citizens- 
to-be settled in centres already thronged, instead of "going 
"West" which has long been held classic counsel for the 
ambitious. Five years of residence is the term for citi- 
zenship. It is preceded by a declaration of intention "to 
renounce for ever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign 
prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty; and particularly 
to the one of which he may at the time be a citizen or 
subject." 

Here let me note that there is much changing of names 



58 AMERICA'S DAY 

on the part of the new American. The Magyar and Pole 
must not be unpronounceable among his fellows, so Rab- 
binovitch is neatly trimmed to Robins. There is whole- 
sale shedding of "skis" and "offs. " Jangling consonants 
of Bohemia are dropped, so are smooth vowels that mark 
the "Dago," and whole slabs of syllables that show the 
Greek: Spyridon Paraskevopoulos is a serious handicap 
in the hot American race for Success. The Jew will often 
drop a too" "Sheeny" name — and with it much of the 
olden faith, which his children frequently lose. Aliens 
who take to prize-fighting adopt Irish names — Murphy, 
Sullivan, or O'Brien. 

The last census showed altogether 13,515,886 persons 
of foreign birth in the United States. To this one may 
add ten or twelve million negroes in order to gauge the 
hugeness of elements that clash with, or merely hamper, 
the true American ideals. 

One learns casually that Norway has in the United 

States a population nearly as large as its own, and that 

M. Paderewski forwarded a Polish protest from America 

representing 4,000,000 citizens banded together in societies 

.and organizations. 

Altogether over five hundred journals are printed in 
foreign languages, thus fostering "national" feelings which 
conflict with the new citizenship. America shows an in- 
creasing dislike of the many quarters in her midst, ruled 
as they are by the padrone and the ward boss. Some 
reformers would press compulsory English upon the newly- 
landed immigrant. He should be guided and taught, they 
say, as one teaches children; for it is in the intelligence 
of these people that the future of democracy lies. On the 
other hand, to neglect them means a listless electorate and 
weakness in the body politic. 

"Americanization Day" was last year celebrated in 150 
cities. The women's clubs take a hand in the process of 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 59 

moulding new citizens ; and a Forward-to-the-Land League, 
with experimental tracts in Florida, tries to coax the Ellis 
Island hordes out of the Eastern cities into the real Amer- 
ica beyond. But the immigrant question bristles with 
difficulty. The labour market is in chronic rebellion 
against a flood of workers who compete with the native 
on un-American bases. And those interested in the purity 
of politics see in these docile mobs a new supply of cor- 
ruptibles upon whose votes (often secured with forged 
naturalization papers), ''machines" may be reared and 
supported for the purpose of municipal loot. So serious 
a matter had immigration become that America was glad 
of the respite given her by the war. During the second 
half of 1915, there were only 169,291 arrivals. As against 
these, there were 166,899 departures for Europe, leaving 
a net increase for the half year of only 2392. 

It was one of war's few blessings, this abrupt exclusion 
of unskilled labour. Restrictionists were glad to see there 
was less unemployment than ever ; fewer claims upon pub- 
lic and private charity through the checking of a human 
tide which had become a danger. Of course, America dis- 
cusses immigration after the war, and that with renewed 
anxiety. Some thinkers contend there will be a great mi- 
gration from the "militaristic" nations; that men, heart- 
sick at the very thought of war, will turn eagerly to 
the land of peace and the serener uplift of life. Others 
are that the older nations will need all their sons to repair 
the wastage in man-power and material; that all the won- 
drous gear bought and built in America, and long em- 
ployed upon munitions of war, will in the Old World be 
turned to productive labour, so as to reduce the enormous 
debts under which the warring Powers must groan for a 
generation. 

Nor is America sorry to see her supply of Jewish citizens 
cut off. Jewish influence permeates the United States, 



60 AMERICA'S DAY 

and is pacific to the point of emasculation. Jews own 
great newspapers like the New York World and Times. 
Jews are elected Governors of States. There is "Honest 
Mose," the reformer of Idaho, who once sold cheap togs 
in a wooden shack of Boise City; and Simon Bamberger, 
the first Democratic Governor of Utah, who is still a "Gen- 
tile" in the Mormon State. A Jew — Louis Brandeis — 
sits in the Supreme Court of the United States. As for 
ambassadors at foreign Courts, one has but to mention 
Oscar Straus, Henry Morgenthau, Abraham Elkus, and 
Lewis Einstein. But it is in the realm of finance that the 
Jew is supreme; a notable exemplar is Jacob Schiff, the 
philanthropist, who played a leading part in the League 
to Enforce Peace. 

My point is that Hebrew pacifism is opposed to vig- 
orous measures of national defence. "Over yonder," the 
generous Jews were told in Carnegie Hall, "Despotism 
rallies its victims to a bloody death. Here in America 
we set in motion vastly different armies. Behold our 
20,000,000 school children laughing as they go. See yet 
another army of 20,000,000 stalwarts who march out each 
morning to the anvil, the forge and the loom." So what 
with Jewish and Gentile pacifism, the influence of the 
women, and German intrigue from Cuba to Colon, and 
thence to Mexico City, Preparedness for war had "hard 
sledding" indeed in its early days. 

It was this feebleness of the national will which engaged 
the ablest American minds. It also accounted for the feel- 
ing of relief when immigration stopped, and the alien tor- 
rent was shown to be a factor which the country could 
do without. For many years American students of this 
problem have been of three schools — restrictionist, selec- 
tionist, and exclusionist ; these last weighed police reve- 
lations of unexampled crime, as well as horrible crowding 
in the slums. But the demand for cheap labour, for il- 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 61 

literate, non-English speaking serfs, was both insistent and 
fierce. Beyond doubt the poor devils of aliens were cruelly 
exploited. Until quite recently (and the change of spirit 
is startling to one who knows the facts) no nation on 
earth held human life so cheaply as the United States, 
in spite of professions to the contrary which were conven- 
tions and little more. 

"The casualties of our peaceful industries," wrote Pres- 
ident Roosevelt to Josiah Strong, the statistician, "exceed 
those of a great and continuous war." In round figures 
they amount to 50,000 killed and 500,000 injured every 
year. Such is Prosperity's toll; this is the seamy side of 
America's speed-up. According to Dr. Yv T . II. Tolman, 
"the Pennsylvania coalfields alone furnish a Bull Run 
Battle of deaths year by year." And so reckless are the 
railroads that their foremost expert, Mr. James J. Hill, 
remarked to a Cabinet Minister: "Every time I take a 
journey I expect it to be my last, so uncertain has the 
thing become." 

"Ah, Bawss," said the negro brakeman to me at Fort 
"Worth, "w'en soldierin's as deadly as switchin' I guess 
we'll have disarm 'ent at hand!" The railway havoc for 
one year was 10,046 killed and 84,155 injured. Angry 
protest appeared in the papers about this, but public opin- 
ion was never roused. The Interstate Commerce Commis- 
sion collected almost incredible facts and figures. The 
Sunday journals had whole-page articles on "The Price 
of Peace" — "Every time the second-hand circles the dial 
of your watch, an American is slaughtered or maimed." 

"It's cheaper to kill men than to protect them," said 
the disappointed inventor to Dr. Josiah Strong, who gave 
his whole career to preventive work in this direction. 
"When I produce a thing that saves time and labour, it 
goes off like hot cakes. But directly I make a device 
to save human life and limb, I've only wasted energy; 



62 AMERICA'S DAY 

and I can't give the thing away!" It is undeniable that 
the alien immigrant was no more than raw material, 
cheaply held, mere unconsidered gun-meat in America's 
eternal war. 

I saw an Armenian arrested for begging on Third Ave- 
nue, New York. The man had both hands destroyed by 
the machinery of a harvester concern in Chicago, and he 
was soon thrown on the community as a public charge. 
The fiesh-and-blood havoc of bursting fly-wheels in the 
factories is another reckless tale. So also are the casualties 
in lead and copper mines; in city subways and in the 
streets, where motors and trams take a fearsome toll. 
Chemical works and quarries, laundries, foundries, and 
textile-mills — the slaughter and crippling of workers in 
these places has long been the despair of social pioneers. 
The farming and lumbering trades had awesome records of 
their own; so had construction-work, especially in bridges 
and skyscrapers. "Count the storeys," your guide told 
you impressively in the down-town tour of New York, "if 
you want to know how many human lives the So-and-So 
Building cost." And truly, from the deep caisson to the 
fiftieth tier of windows, these towers have a dreadful rec- 
ord in killing and crippling for life. 

It is for this reason that America became proficient in 
the making of artificial limbs. And here we found her a 
useful ally in the aftermath of war, offering the Carnes arm 
to Roehampton Hospital, as well as mechanical legs and 
jointed feet that hid all deformity. "Success is a fine 
goal," says that typical American, Mr. Darwin P. Kingsley, 
of the New York Life Insurance Company, "but in our 
eagerness to win it we lash out right and left, trampling 
and wounding in ruthless concentration. We destroy far 
more than we afterwards redeem by our public and private 
beneficence." Mr. Kingsley heads the "Safety First" 
leagues of America, which now preach a saner gospel of 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 63 

values, and point out "the brutal and costly inefficiency 
of a speed-up that defeats itself." The last ounce of out- 
put is exacted of the worker — and then the bit beyond, 
which brings disaster on so huge and frequent a scale 
throughout the American sovereignties. 

I have explained how the laws are made by forty-eight 
Parliaments, laws which are not uniform and are quite 
beyond count. In this connection I may quote Secretary 
Trefz, of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. "In the last 
five years," he says, "our national and State Legislatures 
have passed 62,550 laws, as compared with 1500 laws 
passed by the British Parliament in ten years." It is not 
so much new laws that America needs as what Elihu Root 
calls "the organization of the nation." Lincoln himself 
had this at heart when he conferred with General Dodge 
about the new trans-continental railroad — "not only as a 
military asset, but also as a means of holding the Pacific 
Coast to the Union." To foster a really national spirit 
came before all else in President Wilson's war-time plans. 
"What I am striving for," he told Labour delegates at the 
White House, "is to blot out all the lines of cleavage in 
America. To sweep away groups and camps, and caste 
distinctions; to close up our ranks and kindle fresh unity 
of purpose." This was the foundation of Americanism 
in 1917. 

There should be less exuberance and more reflection in 
an era that broke with the past before all men's eyes — 
that rollicking past when Macaulay found "all sail and 
no anchor" in the Constitution of the United States. I 
know no symptom of this effort more striking than the 
new relations of capital and labour — of master and man; 
even of the helpless alien who was so lightly regarded in 
the heedless America of yesteryear. I heard a Pennsyl- 
vania coroner, Mr. J. C. Armstrong, of Allegheny County, 
express himself sadly in this matter. "The number of 



64 AMERICA'S DAY 

alien deaths in our furnaces and mills is truly distressing. 
But nobody cares — they're only Hunks or Dagoes. Why, 
there's more fuss made over the loss of a horse or a 
mule!" Thirteen Hungarians were killed in Pittsburg 
by one blast of molten metal. The furnace was known 
to be defective, and some of the men were wary enough 
to leave their work in time. At the inquest the foreman 
explained that "a rush of orders had kept the company 
from making repairs in time." 

What did it matter? — They were only Hunks. That 
day an Austrian Llo}'d steamer landed a thousand more at 
Ellis Island from the port of Fiume; the morrow or next 
day would see groups of them squatting at the gates, glad 
of $2 a day and a life of withering hardships. I suppose 
the valley of the Monongahela from Pittsburg to McKees- 
port (where the Hungarian colony is) shows industrial 
America in its most terrifying aspect. There are no words 
for the vileness and flame of this hissing Gomorrah. Fif- 
teen thousand factory-shafts spout smoke and soot. In 
the vengeful reek of this place the dead Hunk is buried 
in an unceremonious ditch to a dirge of psalms, oddly 
confused with the crash of steam hammers and blast- 
furnace roars of imminent menace. 

The half-naked Hunk, wrinkled and wan, half-blinded 
by the glare of liquid steel, gasping and scorched, stream- 
ing with sweat as well as half-gassed with the poisonous 
reek — this is no picture piled up for effect, but a fact 
from which the onlooker turns away. No negro, no Chi- 
nese coolie would undertake this foundry and rolling-mill 
work; it is too heart-rending. But the Hunk is dumb; 
he knows no English. Fifty per cent, of these indus- 
trial slaves are Ellis Island pioneers. They come over 
alone, and do not send for their families till they have 
a pittance put by. I called upon these outlaws in their 
shacks by the drear churchyard. Here they lived like 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 65 

swine, in an atmosphere of murk and damnable tumult. 
Their patient acceptance of it all was to me more moving 
than any rage. Was not this America — the only Amer- 
ica they knew? The joyous Old-World days were over; 
the blue Adriatic, and fair Carpathian valleys, too un- 
real now for any dream. Between Transylvania and 
Pennsylvania, hell's own gulf was yawning — and this was 
called the Valley'of the Monongahela! . . . 

Yet even the worm, we are told, will turn. These 
aliens have shown fight in murderous strikes, especially 
where they see miniature standing armies maintained by 
employers for their own repression, as in the coal mines of 
Colorado. An affray of this kind broke out two years 
ago at the big plant of the Fertilizer Trust in Roosevelt, 
N. J., barely twenty miles from New York's City Hall. 
At the first volley fired by the private guards eighteen 
unarmed strikers fell dead or wounded. But here again 
they were only Hunks and Dagoes ; and tradition of Amer- 
ican capital rates these below the beeves and porkers of 
the stock-yard. Tradition of this kind dies hard in a land 
where business has become a god. But such conduct is 
bound to react upon the community. The criminal rec- 
ords of these aliens are of peculiar flagrancy ; they call for 
police-squads and special agents, like those of the famous 
Petrosino, who had a detective bureau of his own in La- 
fayette Street, New York. Petrosino was murdered in 
Sicily whilst following up a Black Hand trail. 

Here I touch those secret societies which the immigrant 
floods bring with them from Europe. I refer to the Ar- 
menian Henchakist, the Chinese Tong, the Athenian blood- 
pact, and Neapolitan vendetta; as well as the Mafia, Ca- 
morra, and La Mano Nera or the Black Hand. One hesi- 
tates to mention the exploits of these murder-clubs, for 
they surpass the crudest fiction and reveal fatal flaws in 
the civilized polity upon which they prey. There are over 



66 AMERICA'S DAY 

half a million Italians settled in Greater New York, and 
the Black Hand Society had extraordinary license among 
them. In four months fifty-four persons were killed or 
maimed by pistol, knife, or dynamite: the victims had 
ignored the usual Black Hand letter demanding money 
under pain of death. 

Big corporations, like the United States Steel, have de- 
tectives of their own to protect their industrial army. At 
one time $25,000 a month was extorted by threats from 
the foreign workmen of this huge concern. But the Se- 
cret Service agents crippled the system by seizing the 
bandit leader, Pagnato, and ten of his assassins at the 
pay-office of the Hillsville Quarries. It is remarkable what 
license all classes permit themselves in the slack immen- 
sity of this New World. Even the city police are apt to 
consider the brothel, the gambling den, and saloon as law- 
ful sources of income. It is a point of view very difficult 
to deal with, based as it is upon custom and a peculiar 
ethical code. 

New York City has for many years tried to reform her 
police, pointing out the scandal of the lowly officer who 
could advertise the loss of his $1500 diamond ring. Then 
there was the discovery of forty-three bills, each of $1000, 
in the desk of a captain who fell dead in the West 47th 
Station. And a corruption fund, was raised by the force 
at large to defeat the Anti-Graft Bill in the State Legis- 
lature at Albany. 

It was strange to see sober journals in so great a city 
as New York referring to their police as "a semi-secret, 
semi-criminal association that fosters and battens upon 
crime, and will not stay its hand at murder." But all 
such crudity is passing, as well as the docility and uncon- 
cern which has long been a marked trait of citizenship. 
This was glaringly shown in New York's acceptance of the 
ruffian rule of Tammany Hall, its thugs and thieves, and 



AMERICA IN THE MAKING 67 

criminal ''Grand Sachems." Inaugurated long ago as a 
"friend of the poor," this singular body turned to politics 
under Aaron Burr and bossed New York for generations. 
Tammany Chiefs were brigands of incredible boldness and 
absolute sway. Boss Tweed died in gaol, after looting the 
city of millions. But the hateful dynasty was far from 
extinct. It began to decline in 1901 ; entire control of 
the New "World's greatest city passed from Tammany 
with the evil days of Van Wyck. Under Mayor Mitchel — 
a typical crusader — New York was not only "free," but 
aspired to be America's model municipality. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE CITY OF CITIES 

The intelligent immigrant has a great desire to survey 
New York from the Singer building, which is forty-seven 
storeys high, and towers six hundred feet above Broadway, 
between Liberty and Cortlandt Streets. It is an awesome 
experience for the simple soul, rapt heavenward in the 
"Observatory Express." And the panorama below him 
at last is overpowering. It makes real all the wonders 
that glowed in those letters from America, which were read 
aloud to neighbours at cottage doors in the Black Forest, 
where toys are made, or in hot Sicilian steppes where the 
slaves of the sulphur-mine hear the Statue of Liberty call- 
ing them in their sleep. 

A glance at Lower Manhattan from this height shows 
the difficult building problem of New York, and how the 
skyscraper has solved it with characteristic daring. Busi- 
ness interests of enormous range are here squeezed into 
an area less than two square miles, bounded on the 
south, east, and west by the waters of the Bay and the 
Hudson and East Rivers. Here huddle the offices of the 
trans-continental railways. Here is the stronghold of the 
Standard Oil — that giant among the giants of American 
.trade, with mysterious claims reaching from California 
to Rumania, and from the Black Sea to Siam. Here the 
Steel Trust is financially at home beside famous corpo- 
rations with skyscrapers of their own. On this narrow 
tongue are the big exchanges, the banks, trust companies, 
and brokerage offices. Land has fetched as much as $700 
a foot in the Wall Street district. 

The only outlet was gained by the steady pushing of 

68 



THE CITY OF CITIES 69 

non-business dwellings to the north end — and by going up 
in the air. Hence the skyscraper, a cage of steel beams 
carried on sixty or eighty legs which are thrust down to 
bedrock, ninety feet or so below New York's famous 
Broadway. These legs are the wind-anchors of a land- 
lighthouse which is without a peer in any nation. If thero 
were no wind, a skyscraper of a hundred storeys would be 
possible. As it is, there is talk of a tower a thousand feet 
high and a hundred feet square, swaying with perfect 
Safety in a gale of a hundred miles an hour. This is the 
estimate of Mr. Ernest Flagg, the architect of the Singer 
building; he has no love for these monstrosities, by the 
way, though he admits the necessity for them. The steel 
skeleton is weighed in advance — every beam and bar and 
bolt; the furniture, too, and the safes, together with the 
population of a country town. Upon the legs of the 
Singer tower rests a weight of 86,000 tons. 

It is these tremendous buildings which make New York 
unique, and turn the streets into profound chasms, with 
dizzy troglodyte walls that blaze at night with dim and 
weird effects. The progress of the skyscraper, as one 
might suppose, was bound up with the elevator, which 
dates from 1870. The vertical cylinder hydraulic lift was 
developed in Chicago with an eye to safety and certainty 
of control ; a speed of 600 feet a minute was soon demanded 
in the twenty-storey structure. Real estate values rose 
with the height of these new buildings. Owners and ar- 
chitects, engineers, builders, and inventors hailed the steel 
construction, for it increased the price of sites prodigiously. 
It also produced a new race of workers from the "sand-hog" 
of the pneumatic caisson deep in the bowels of the earth, 
to the reckless riveter who would pose for a "stunt" por- 
trait on a swaying, crane-fifted girder, seven hundred feet 
above the curb of Lower Broadway. 

The skyscraper is a complete city under one roof, with 



70 AMERICA'S DAY 

racing elevators carrying sixty thousand passengers a day. 
.Such a pile has its own electric light and gas plants, its own 
waterworks and fire brigade; a police-force, mail-chutes, 
telephones, telegraphs, banks and clubs. A business man 
need never leave his lofty suite. Here are restaurants 
and bedrooms; bathrooms and barber-shops, news-stands, 
safe-deposits, and all professional aid — manicure, medi- 
cine, and the law, together with minor stimuli ranging 
from candy and chewing-gum to cigars and soft drinks. 
The aura of the skyscraper favours exact and continuous 
concentration. Nevertheless responsible men foresee -dis- 
aster to the swarming cliff-dwellers of New York, and 
also to the city itself — especially since San Francisco was 
destroyed by earthquake and fire. The Board of Alder- 
men have a Building Codes Revision Committee, and this 
body met to consider the limitation of the skyscraper in 
view of repeated protest from experts of undoubted stand- 
ing. Architects, builders, and insurance men were invited 
to state their views. An important witness was Mr. G. H. 
Babb, President of the New York Fire Underwriters. 

"San Francisco has taught us," Mr. Babb declared, 
"that our so-called fire-proof buildings will not resist an 
uncontrolled wave of flame. We know that these lofty 
shafts nurse the fiercest fires of all. And we do fear 
an outbreak in that down-town nest. It would beat and 
drift across the narrow streets, involving other pinnacles 
at their topmost floors. The firemen could do nothing; 
no system of sprinklers would avail, nor all the attempts 
at fire-proofing. We dread a blaze involving whole blocks, 
and therefore menacing the city. The money loss might 
amount to billions, and so cripple the insurance companies 
that they could offer no more than twenty-five cents on the 
dollar to owners and mortgagees." 

But America will not stay to consider these things: 
heedlessness is a trait peculiar to the genius of the people. 



THE CITY OP CITIES 71 

Risks are ignored, so that present ease be assured. A lurid 
morrow there may be, but it lies ou the lap of gods who 
have always been kind to America ! 

It is New York that sets the pace for the continent. 
Here notions are born with abrupt caprice that alters a 
woman's gown or the income of her man. Or even the too 
orderly topography of the trees, which are torn up and 
pulled down with uproarious glee. There were no new 
aliens, as it chanced — no Ellis Island Americans to witness 
the moneyed invasion which marked the New York of 
1016-17. Nothing like it was ever known, even in a land 
of freak spending and mushroom millions. Of course, it 
was war money. October promised a fairish season with- 
out any hint of the orgy ahead. Giant hotels, lavish 
restaurants, and cabarets made ready for the election 
crowds; for dancers and skaters, for lovers of the theatre 
and music-hall, who sup at two in the morning and cry, 
"What's a hundred dollars?" with their whole heart. 

Those election throngs remained in the city, and to them 
were added visitors from all the States, until New York 
swelled and sang with carnival. Families from Buenos 
Aires piled in; from Rio, Havana, and the Central Amer- 
ican capitals. For Paris was now an unattainable goal. 
There were also the idle rich who are, I must say, a di- 
minishing caste ; there are signs of penal laws against 
them. There were brokers and speculators, celebrating a 
revival with "any-price" dinners and Neronic gifts to the 
ladies. There were quite new types seen in this invasion: 
families from the Central West, farmers, contractors, and 
manufacturers intent upon circulating some of the money 
which deluged America, and now taxed even New York 
wits to devise new ways of melting it. 

The city's floating population was more than doubled. 
Seven hundred thousand "purses" came into New York, 
asking for genial robbery and a good time therewith. The 



72 AMERICA'S DAY 

hotels overflowed; a mattress in a bath-tub fetched five 
dollars a night ; rich men lay on the floors or sat contorted 
in the corridors awaiting the dawn of new delights. Grad- 
ually guests were driven out of the city. They might sup 
on Broadway, or in Fifth or Madison Avenues; but for 
beds they were billeted afar off — in Yonkers or in New- 
ark, in dingy Hoboken, or Long Island City, and the 
other "nowheres" of New York. It is not possible to 
exaggerate the nightly riot, nor the outrageous prices 
asked and gaily paid for food and wine, amusements, and 
souvenirs bought in shops which in normal times are the 
most expensive in the world. 

Money appeared to have lost its value. There were 
yellow-back tips (of $100) for the bowing maitre d'hutel, 
five dollars for the boy that "boosted" an overcoat and 
handed out a hat from the cloakroom. Two dollars was 
paid to enter a noisy cabaret ; here one sat down exhausted 
to a supper-dish of eggs at one dollar a plate. Cham- 
pagne poured freely as ice-water on a sultry night. The 
men who speculate in theatre tickets got fifty dollars 
for a stall. Beggars of yesteiyear were now telephoning 
madly to order banquets in princely suites at ten dollars 
a plate. . . . The manager would put the receiver down 
and dwell with wonder on the meteoric rise of men whom 
no fate could floor, since they "came back" with unquench- 
able elan to astonish the natives — an all but impossible 
feat in sated New York. 

I am bound to deal with this tiresome phase; it was 
a phenomenal reflex of the Great "War, and one which 
American thinkers would be glad to forget. Moreover, 
New York, though voted un-American by all, is yet Amer- 
ica's playground, and therefore an index to flush or tight 
times throughout the continent. Above all others this 
city is sensitive to the drift of European affairs. Dra- 
matic events of the war were calmly received elsewhere; 



THE CITY OF CITIES 73 

only New York was really excited in the early days, and 
crowded to the bulletin-hoards debating belligerent chances 
the whole night long. This is the American metropolis. 
Washington, the political capital — the Westminster of the 
United States — is 220 miles away in the south. It is a 
beautiful, uncommercial city of sleepy avenues and broad 
sunlit leisure, contrasting sharply with New York. The 
Federal seat, in its brief and vivid season, is a wholly de- 
lightful centre of sets and cliques and aristocracies. Wash- 
ington is, in fact, America's "Court," at once informal 
and prim — not to say rigid in rule; hospitable, witty, and 
sown with American salons of surprising and diverting 
range. If it were possible to unite New York and "Wash- 
ington, the result would be a capital of unique allurement 
and zest for a brief stay. 

The note of New York is impermanence ; it never is, 
but always to be blest with civic and architectural per- 
fection. Last season's hotel, with an amusement-annex 
that cost a fortune, is this year already under a cloud. 
For another is projected — one of fifteen hundred rooms 
and the soaring splendour of eclipse. It will cost fifteen 
million dollars. Before it opens a still more attractive 
palace is planned and talked of — not necessarily larger — 
but with novelties that take the town and are flashed for 
thousands of miles to maintain the siren fame which has 
been New York's since Revolutionary times. 

It is a city of noise, of course, with electric railways 
borne upon iron pillars over tram-laid streets paved with 
granite blocks. The passion for altering is everywhere 
seen. Great pits yawn here and there — perhaps for the 
leg-rests of yet another skyscraper. Or the hole may be 
part of a city tube. Bombs explode ; there is quarrying 
in the building lots — erection, demolition, carting away of 
debris, and the dumping of new and costly materials. 

The "Great American Novel," so long expected and 



74 AMERICA'S DAY 

discussed, lies here ready made, expansed for every nation 
to read, each in its own tongue. The glamour of New 
York invades the prairie farm; it fires young ambition 
in the cross-roads store thousands of miles away in the 
Oregon sage or Nevada sands. There is but one Fifth 
Avenue, only one Broadway, and no room in either for 
the ill-dressed or glum; they would be out of place as a 
bully would be in the nursery. 

New York is a city of late hours, a temple of airy intoxi- 
cation, where the drunken man is a rare bird indeed. Ex- 
travagance is a game in this place, haply encouraged 
in the young folks by dad, who beams amid the nightly 
glitter recalling the day he landed at Castle Garden with 
all his worldly goods in a ragged handkerchief. Quaint 
tales are told of spendthrift "stunts" that vied with one 
another, until folly fell exhausted for a space of new 
germination. There was the hostess who bought boxes 
for three plays, that her guests might choose according 
to their after-dinner mood. There was Mrs. So-and-So's 
ball with costly jewels for cotillion favours; the banquet 
with dancers on the table, and stocks and bonds folded 
in the serviettes as little gifts. There were ballets on the 
Long Island lawns brought en masse from the Metro- 
politan Opera, with Caruso himself to sing "Hail Colum- 
bia" at the close. There was the special train from Los 
Angeles to New York which enabled young love to keep 
its tryst ; there were the famous monkey-and-horseback din- 
ners, with many another prank and curvet to outshine all 
the revellers from Caligula to Louis Quatorze: 

"Why should the gods have put me at my ease 
If 1 mayn't use my fortune as I please?" 

The answer is that today this riot is voted bad form. It 
is a crudity of jaded senses which the best people leave to 



THE CITY OF CITIES 75 

the unsophisticated newly-rich who block Broadway at 
night with a tangle of sumptuous cars. 

It is for her invaders that New York displays electric 
signs so glaring that the native citizen cultivates blindness, 
hoping tc save his soul alive and keep his limbs from the 
mercy of Broadway joy-riders. For here night shineth 
as the day. There is blazing publicity for all manner of 
wares. Ebullient rainbows leap and race, flicker and 
flash, as for a Fourth of July that never ends. Fabulous 
glow-worms crawl up and down. Zigzag lightnings strike 
an acre of signboard — and reveal a panacea for over- 
eating! A four-storey Highlander dances a whisky-fling; 
another pours out a highball, with a hundred feet between 
his bottle and the glass. Household words race with in- 
visible pen across a whole city block. An electric kitten 
plays with a mighty spool of Somebody's silk, then jumps 
at a bound to the top of a skyscraper. The man does not 
live who could clearly record his impressions of New York 's 
phantasmagoria. 

"More light" is the city's motto; the blaze of it is 
another form of idealism which dispels the gloom of life. 
It is certain that restaurants, theatres, and shops have 
been dragged out of ruin by sheer glare. "Do it electric- 
ally" is now a familiar exhortation, and the thing is done 
with ferocious glee — not alone on the Great White Way, 
but also in countless homes that cook and clean at five 
cents per kilowatt-hour. New York has a mania for this 
unseen force. Her missionary fervour carried an Elec- 
trical Week into fifty-nine other cities, passing thence to 
the farms, where 108 new applications of electricity were 
speedily found. Thus- the milkmaid is an electrician ; the 
prairie goodwife runs a mysterious churn and chats at 
her work with a lonely neighbour twenty miles off by 
means a£ a telephone visor on her head. It is a country 



76 AMERICA'S DAY 

of marvels, of tip-toe expectancy, and impatient scorn 
for all the older ways of "dad an' the ox-cart." 

Liberty's torch blazes electrically above the bay. All 
manner of irksome tasks grow easy when done electrically. 
In this way is the baby's bottle heated and mother's 
curling-iron made ready once a day for two weeks with 
one cent's worth of wired magic. Another cent makes 
ten rounds of toasts, a third runs the sewing-machine for 
two hours. The electric range produces a tempting din- 
ner; and there is a dishwiper to deal with the plates 
in the scullery and coffee is served from an electric per- 
colator on the table. A washer and wringer makes short 
work of the week's linen; electric irons follow it up the 
same day and give languid maids a "boost" which there 
is no resisting. In this manner is the domestic problem 
solved in New York where menial service is hateful to a 
joyous democracy. "Rare as an American waiter" is a 
phrase of high significance. 

The matter of hired help has driven city folk to live in 
hotels, apartment-houses, pensions, and tenements. It is 
hard to imagine the range of these communal dwellings, 
from the alien squalor of Avenue A to the ultra-Roman 
magnificence of the Plaza by Central Park. In middle- 
class buildings the janitor is an autocrat collecting his 
rake-off from tenants and traders according to custom. 
The American inventor busies himself with household 
chores, knowing that even moderate success in a labour- 
saver will mean a fortune. These domestic aids bring 
comfort to a woman's life in a land where home service is 
only for the rich. 

"She's leaving you!" is a poignant thrust printed in 
huge letters in advertisements on the servant question, 
issued by electrical concerns. "Leaving her job disgrun- 
tled; leaving you discouraged and down." It was a true 
enough statement of pre-electric days. The sick-at-hcart 



THE CITY OP CITIES 77 

mistress would tramp Third Avenue in search of "help." 
She rang Sullivan's bell and went up — and down she came 
again with a flushed face. She climbed four dirty flights 
to a frowsy room which had Dienstmadchen on the door. 
Within sat Frau Schmidt, a female bully with an odd 
platoon before her of Finns and Swedes, Poles, Italians, 
and Syrians. "Jus' landed alretty," the Frau explained, 
waving a plump hand at the menagerie, and adding a 
warrant that all in the squad were free from kitchen vice. 
The crudest of these asked five dollars a week, although 
more familiar with a spade or a plough than a saucepan. 
And to this demand the creature would add (through the 
Frau interpreter) conditions and privilege of unexpected 
guile. 

Another agency tempted the mistress with "real South- 
ern help." But first of all there was first a matter of 
$20 rail-fare to pay the coloured mammy in the corner. 
That savage grinned engagingly, and praised her own fried 
chicken and waffles. ... If they only knew of her at the 
"White House. . . ! Alas, she turned out to be a dope- 
fiend given to cocaine; a notorious "rounder" of the 
agencies well-known at The Island — which is not Ellis 
Island at all, but another place of penalty and shame. 
On the third day it took three policemen to remove this 
Ethiop from a stricken kitchen and strap her in the sta- 
tion wagon outside. 

No wonder the true American housekeeper is the most 
efficient of all, though you will not find her in New York. 
She relies upon her own wit. She is without any servant, 
and quite likely runs a prosperous business into the bar- 
gain, apart from her husband's, or else in partnership 
with him. Of course the telephone is a great help, alike 
in the hot weather and on zero days; in fierce New York 
gales, torrential rains and snowstorms, such as London 
and Paris will never know. 



78 AMERICA'S DAY 

As a developing agent the telephone has played a vital 
part in the United States. Here in New York you meet 
middle-aged men who remember the birth of it. They 
tell you how, on a March day in '76, Alexander Bell spoke 
to Tom Watson over a few feet of wire in the top floor of a 
Chicago office building. Today America has twelve mil- 
lion telephones, a smooth and perfect service of astonish- 
ing range. Portland, Me., talks to Portland, Ore., over a 
continental stretch equal to that between Stockholm and 
Stamboul. This New World chatters electrically; you can- 
not escape the telephone in New York City. It is to 
an instrument you speak in your hotel bedroom. The 
receiver is rarely out of a business man's hand; the Wall 
Street titan, the Trust, or railway king is photographed 
"on the 'phone" with millions of money in his rugged 
frown, for the 'phone is the sceptre of American sway. 

My lady has a telephone in her boudoir. Here she can 
shop in cosy peignoir and slippers. She gossips with her 
friends in this way; she orders opera tickets, or calls her 
husband from the office dictaphone to speak of a change 
in the dinner-hour or measles in the nursery. At the 
smart restaurant the ever-ready mouthpiece peeps at you 
from the roses and lilies of a silver-set feast. There is a 
telephone in the smoke-room of the luxurious limited train 
going down to Palm Beach, or across the continent to Los 
Angeles in California. It is a habit in this wide-awake 
land where things happen as the avalanche falls, and 
market panics leap and race like forest fires at the merest 
whisper. Witness the result of leakage from the White 
House over the President's famous Peace Note. 

I would even call the telephone a New York instinct; 
the "Hullo-girl" knows this to her cost as she sits at the 
switch-board watching the tinted bulbs glow with endless 
inquisition. "Where's that big blaze? ..." "Say — is it 
really true that Senator Smith is dead? ..." "Would 



THE CITY OF CITIES 79 

you mind calling me tomorrow at five-thirty? My alarm 
clock's busted, and I've a train to catch." There are 
schools of politeness and patience for the young ladies who 
receive these impetuous calls. But the telephone service 
is seen at its best in country districts, far from any rail- 
way — perhaps in a region where no roads exist, and the 
trails are impassable through bad weather and furious 
storms. Here the farmer is "neighbourixed" by the 
friendly wire. These rural lines have a* regular news serv- 
ice supplied by a general call after supper at night. 
Widely-scattered subscribers gather round in their own 
homes, whilst the far-off Central first of all gives out the 
correct time — a greater boon to these lonely folk than the 
city dweller might imagine. Next comes a condensed re- 
port of the day's home and foreign news; then the current 
quotations for wheat and cotton and corn, oats and eggs, 
butter and all sorts of live stock, from the Jersey eow to 
the laying hen. Country teachers give lessons over the 
'phone to pupils who are blizzard-bound in their own homes 
for days together. The deaf have telephones in their 
church pews; even the marriage ceremony has been con- 
ducted over sympathetic wires, with a lady reporter as 
bridesmaid and the press photographer as best man. 

Electricity is the god in America's car, solving every 
crux of today and tomorrow. She regards Thomas Edi- 
son as her greatest genius. Her editors never tire of 
sending star men over to that wizard's den at West Orange, 
N. J., to hear the latest miracle — actual, potential, or merely 
desired for humanity's sake. . . . 

"The future of electricty ?" echoes the mage; he is old 
and very deaf, yet America made him chairman of her new 
Naval Consulting Board. "Why, the sky's the limit! 
One day everything will be done by electricity. Our rail- 
roads will be electrified, so will the labour of farm, factory, 
and fireside. The miners will turn their coal into current 



80 AMERICA'S DAY 

at the pit's mouth. The sea's tide will be harnessed to 
our needs; we shall call down nitrates from the air to 
fertilize our fields. Hydro-electric engineers will take hold 
of water now running to waste, and evoke from it the 
strength of sixty million horses." 

The Athenian appetite for "something new" is a keen 
American trait, and keenest of all in New York, which is 
the most inquisitive and acquisitive of cities. She expects 
Europe to serve her, and is lavishly served, with every art 
and craft and inspiration. Few foreigners realize how 
New York combs the earth for luxuries, paying a princely 
price for each flash of conceded rule. Every cult and 
whim comes here — an Eastern faith, preposterous frocks 
and Paris follies, like diamond heels and the torpedo 
toque. 

Or it may be the Houses of the Children; tenement 
blocks on ideal lines for parents with large families only. 
Here we touch the "race suicide" question which Mr. 
Roosevelt has at heart. Married couples with a big brood 
are hard to find among the New York natives; landlords 
and janitors will have no truck with people thus encum- 
bered. The native birth-rate has declined since the Civil 
War. In 1860 there were 634 children under five years for 
every 1000 women of child-bearing age. By 1900 the fig- 
ure had fallen to 424; and flush times, as the Central 
Bureau shows, result in a still greater decline. The South- 
ern States have a better record in this respect than the 
North; New England has the lowest birth-rate of all. 
On the other hand, the Mormon State of Utah is unique, 
for it has 233 children per 1000 women more than Colorado, 
and 309 more than California. The contrast between 
town and country in this respect is very striking. Out of 
160 cities of 25,000 population and more, 390 children 
under five were found to every 1000 women; whereas in 
the rural districts outside those centres, the proportion 



THE CITY OF CITIES 81 

was 572 children for each thousand possible mothers. 

The causes contributing to this state of things are four- 
fold: the migration from country to town, the facilities 
with which divorce is granted, the increase of wealth 
and luxury, and the constant vying to maintain or exceed 
one's social position. A mortgage on house or farm for 
the motor-car's sake is a symptom of these times. But 
in the matter of birth-rate, lavish New York deserves a 
space of her own, so curious are the facts. In eleven 
months only thirteen infants were born in the four-and-a 
half mile stretch of Fifth Avenue, from Washington 
Square to Ninety-Fifth Street. This magnificent Avenue 
houses the fewest children of any residential quarter in 
the world. In the section observed, there were over seven 
hundred rich homes and four immense hotels. In strik- 
ing contrast with this is the record of teeming Avenue A, 
where in the same period 445 children appeared. 

An elaborate system of tubes has of late years improved 
the New York transit systems out of all knowledge. It 
is not so long since a blizzard was able to throw the city 
into hopeless confusion, especially on the Brooklyn Bridge 
and the Elevated lines, where frozen switches and ice- 
covered spurs defied the most resourceful of engineers. 
Hosts of city workers were driven at the rush hours to 
the surface cars ; these had their snow-ploughs and sweeps, 
with ingenious engines for scattering kerosene and salt 
in the outlying districts. It is well to remember that 
Greater New York covers 315 square miles, and disputes 
with London the primacy of the world: it musters more 
than six million people. 

The transit companies receive weather-warnings from 
Chicago and St. Louis. When a storm is signalled, cars 
are run all night, so as to keep the tracks open. A blizzard 
is a very costly as well as a disagreeable city visitation. 
To remove an inch of snow means an outlay of $35,000 



82 AMERICA'S DAY 

for labour. In case of a great fall, perhaps eighty miles 
of main streets in Manhattan and The Bronx are promptly 
cleared, and rather less in Brooklyn ; the rest — a thousand 
miles or more — are necessarily left "to God and the rain." 

But when the worst is said, it must be owned that 
New York gets plenty of sun, even in the severest winter. 
And when the weather clears — towards Easter, say — the 
city flames with a new blitheness which there is no resist- 
ing. She is now all smiles — ''like a cotton-patch after a 
.spring shower" — to quote the Texan visitor, as he climbs 
into the sight-seeing car outside the Flatiron Building 
where Broadway and Fifth Avenue converge. New York 
is at all times hopeful, but more so than ever at this 
season. You may dwell upon the war with its latter- 
math of hate and a future full of guns and smouldering 
revenge, New York will agree to some extent, and then 
confound you with jets of life and laughter from Walt 
Whitman . . . "Yet how clear it is to me that those are 
not the born results, influences of Nature at all, but of 
our own distorted, sick, or silly souls. Here amid this 
wide, free scene — how healthy, how joyous, how clean, 
and vigorous and sweet!" 

New York looks all this and more to those transient 
pilgrims who buy a two-dollar ticket and seat themselves 
in the Rubberneck Wagon — a sort of grand-stand on 
wheels which "does" New York, from Grant's Tomb ("ten 
minutes for prayer and meditation") to the Temple of 
Confucius down in Chinatown. Here the timorous are 
assured that "no vice or dens shall be shown, no immoral 
phases, but only the curious shops and homes." Perhaps 
a Chinese opera too, and a chop-suey feast of barbaric 
cates. 

The Rubberneck Wagon is so called because the rows 
of sightseers crane this way and that at the sonorous bid- 
ding of the megaphone man— "a bright, entertaining, 



THE CITY OF CITIES 83 

well informed, and courteous gentleman, who provides a 
brilliantly-told tale of history and romance." One learns 
this from the program. But surely the personal expe- 
rience of that historian — the rich humours of his daily 
trundling through the town with America in petto, wide- 
eyed and tense under his monster trumpet — would make 
a far more acceptable yarn ! The Memoirs of a Rubber- 
neck Man should command a great sale; only none but 
that genius himself should have a hand in the script. 

This is a slow-moving wagon. Its cicerone stands up 
with his back to the driver, and from his 'phone fall 
measured accents which the hindermost can hear: "On 
the right are the twin Vanderbilt houses" . . . "On the 
left you have the famous St. Kegis Hotel, which cost 
Twelve — million — dollars!" To all which the rubbernecks 
attend, with periodic buzz of eager babble ere the next 
marvel shall come into view. . . . Was not this the hotel 
that suffered from too-exuberant advertising when it 
opened? Publicity o'erleaped itself in the case of the 
St. Regis — not publicity of the paid-for kind, but a jocular 
inspiration of the newspaper wags. 

This stately pile was overwritten, overpraised. New 
York and all America was soon gorged with the "gorgeur" 
of the St. Regis, so that the ordinary visitor fought shy 
of it as a New York headquarters. It was a monument, 
one gathered, in all manner of precious marbles and bronze, 
reproducing the glories of Versailles and the Petit Trianon. 
What damasks and tapestries were here; what far-fetched 
ivories and cloisonnes, silken carpets, rare silver, and fra- 
gile Sevres! Such music and wines, with exotic meats 
prepared by artists equal to the great Soyer or Vatel! 

A lady reporter slept one night in the famous tulip- 
wood bed of the State suite, so as to record her regal 
dreams. Without sleeping there at all the cartoonist of 
the Sunday supplement recorded a nightmare of anticipa- 



84 AMERICA'S DAY 

tion over his bill in the overwhelming hostel. Lightning 
zigzags were seen in the picture, hitting the victim as 
he slept and confirming his worst fear with legends like 
these: "Beef and sinkers— $15!" Manager Haan, of the 
St. Regis, protested against this nonsense, for which there 
was little or no foundation. But New York would have 
her jest. It was soon forgotten, of course, and the St. 
Regis has long been ranked as one of the foremost hotels 
in this eccentric city. 

In considering New York, her spendthrift season, her 
white lights and "glad hand," it is well to remember that 
she is also the metropolis of the New World. Here are 
four hundred miles of docks, with roaring marts and fac- 
tories so efficient that psychology is brought into play 
to get the uttermost out of the human machine. As a 
financial centre, New York hopes she eclipses London 
already. Since 1914 money has flowed this way as water 
flows down hill. "Only by the most careful and constant 
extravagance," as the native humorist explains, "can we 
keep it from bursting the banks!" 

"My only despair," M. Prosper Grevilot told me at 
Delmonieo's, "is to plan dishes costly enough for the tastes 
and bottomless purses of our patrons." It is chiefly the 
visitors who maintain this standard of splash. They bring 
with them the old traditions of freak-spending upon which 
Mrs. Astor frowned long ago; then she regimented the 
"Four Hundred" into a new American aristocracy. 
"There are degrees here as elsewhere," a Hindu reminded 
me in Olympia, Wash. "It must ever be so, since the 
fingers of the hand cannot be all of one size." 

1 found caste-marks everywhere in America, and heraldic 
searching was a profession that paid handsomely. 

"There is a fad for armorial bearings," I was told by 



THE CITY OF CITIES 85 

a vivacious lady with a tidy business in this line. "You'll 
see a big display of shields and quarterings on our cars 
as well as on plate, china, and linen. One season there 
were crests and mottoes on our stockings ! But you know 
New York's weakness for notions." I do indeed. But 
no man lived who knew them better than the late George 
Boldt, manager of the Waldorf Hotel — "a singular genius" 
was President Wilson's tribute to the inventor of Pea- 
cock Row, which is the women's parade in that Fifth 
Avenue temple of frocks and food, music, fine wines, and 
good cheer. 

Although social centres shift in the queerest way, the 
Waldorf was for many years a sort of court or palace : a 
rendezvous for the wealth and fashion of the United States. 
By the way, the social ebb and flow is very disconcerting 
to propertjr owners in New York. Sold under the ham- 
mer recently, the highest bid that could be obtained for 
Madison Square Garden — the Olympia of New York — 
was only $2,000,000. This was less by $1,375,000 than 
was paid for the building in 1911. Twenty-third Street 
has steadily declined in value ; Sixth Avenue is a still more 
striking instance. In three years a tract across Manhattan 
Island, from Fourteenth to Fortieth Street, showed a de- 
preciation of $65,000,000. 

Twenty years ago the social axis of New York was at 
Fifth Avenue and Thirty-Seventh Street. It is now in the 
Sixties and beyond. Even Newspaper Row is dissolving 
and dispersing. "Nothing stays put" is the good-hu- 
moured plaint of this restless city. People of wealth give 
up their mansions, and pay tens of thousands a year for a 
wonderful suite in the latest skyscraper apartment-house. 
Then they grow tired of it. They complain they have "no 
more privacy than a goldfish," and find repose at last by 
taking a country home after the manner of the English, 
importing furniture and works of art through agents in 



86 AMERICA'S DAY 

New York, London, Paris, and Rome. The American coun- 
try house, at any rate on this scale, is a recent portent. It 
is also a fashion likely to endure, as the agrophobe tra- 
ditions of the cities break down and green trees are found 
to be more companionable than skyscrapers. 

It is well to remember that what New York says "goes,' 1 
in the terse American meaning of that word. Her visitors 
roam up and down in the true pilgrim spirit of veneration 
expressed in the modest "I'm from Missouri, and you must 
show me." They take home to Podunk and Bird Center 
impressive facts that fell from the megaphone man on the 
Rubberneck Wagon. How, for instance, New York has 
thirty fires every day. How her burglars make off with 
$20,000,000 worth of property in a year ; how her railroads 
provide marble halls and terminal stations beyond the 
palace dreams of Tsar or Sultan. How glad also is New 
York to see the man with money — and how glad to see her 
is the man who has no money at all ! For it is after all 
a very kindly stepmother that America has here. The 
municipal charities begin with the babe's milk, and end 
beside the nameless alien's graye out there in the Potter's 
Field. 

"Look prosperous" is the tacit order of the metropolis. 
You read this on the box of matches given away at the foot 
of the "L" stairs. ""Wear diamonds" was another prompt- 
ing on the label. ' ' Come and choose a nobby gipsy setting 
and pay us as you please" ! To stint and save in New York 
is said to be the maddest extravagance of all, if a man is to 
win. Yet free food is offered to the destitute with im- 
pulsive cheer. There is free lodging too, and <jood books, 
with the hand of uplift extended to the sinking soul. As 
for entertainment, where will you find such a movie-show 
as New York herself! Why, it rivals all the films of Los 
Angeles — pretty Maud in the leopard's den, bold Romeo's 
fall from the fortieth storey, and the long, long kiss of 



THE CITY OF CITIES 87 

reunion — which must not, however, be prolonged beyond 
eight feet of film! The States of Ohio and Kansas are 
more generous in this respect ; there the censor will permit 
a ten-foot kiss. 

Is it any wonder, with all these facts before them, that 
New York's visitors are reluctant to return to their native 
obscurity ? There is a glamour in this place for provincial 
America. There is wit everywhere, if only you understand 
the language — Hungarian at the sidewalk cafes of Second 
Avenue, Yiddish in Canal Street; German, Italian, Greek, 
Arabic, and Russ. And the theatres and halls, what a 
range of distraction is here, from the Diamond Horseshoe's 
blaze at the Metropolitan to the howling mob that assails 
the hobo singer or dancer on "amateur night" down the 
Bowery, or over on Eighth Avenue. "What talk of plays 
and players around breathless tables at night in the res- 
taurants, cabarets, and hotels ! How Maude Adams earned 
$10,000 a year more than the President of the United 
States. How any sum was paid to anybody for anything, 
so long as it drew a crowd. How Bronson Howard pock- 
eted $100,000 the first year as his share in Shenandoah. 
How the Old Homestead just "growed," with no author at 
all to its name and therefore no royalties to pay on pro- 
duction. 

This classic play began as a shapeless sketch somewhere 
in the slums. Then it changed its name, and took on more 
acts; it developed snow-scenes and chimes, and choruses of 
home until at length it got on Denman Thompson's nerves. 
The "old rustic" that New York adored would have no 
more of it; he retired to a country castle and lived as a 
bucolic lord. The younger people hear father recall these 
simple far-off times. How remote they seem to the New 
Yorker of today! That negro phrase, "befo' de Wall," 
strikes quite a new note now. It is not of Lincoln's time 
at all, but of Wilson's, with memories of the Twelve Days 



88 AMERICA'S DAY 

in August, 1914, and the frantic scramble of stranded 
Americans abroad to get home before Germany came to 
blows with the Mistress of the Seas. 

The Rubberneck Wagons and yachts still toured New 
York in war-time; the city was fuller than ever, indeed, 
because the pleasure resorts of Europe were closed. Palm 
Beach became the Monte Carlo of these times. San Diego 
did duty for Cairo ; and instead of the Alps there were the 
Colorado Rockies to climb, with a "See America First" 
society behind this new domestic travel. But what resort 
could eclipse New York, if numbers are to count and the 
length and cost of stay ? There is no such arbiter like New 
York City for laying down the law — or more strictly, being 
the law in all things, from business ethics to dress. Now 
the matter of women 's clothes I may for the moment leave ; 
whereas the correct wear for men is a shrewd New York 
concern calling for comment here and now. "A new suit," 
as the suasive announcements tell you, "is more than a 
purchase; it is an investment." And the psychology of it 
is fully explained in the many books and magazines which 
deal with salesmanship, efficiency, and success. 

"It is an axiom," the student is told, "that when a man 
looks successful, he finds it easy to feel and to act success- 
fully. On the other hand, when he feels shabby his power 
to do a deal falls off appreciably. Even a detail may af- 
fect a man's mental and moral state; a wrinkled tie or a 
dusty hat can upset the salesman, and so business passes 
to a smarter rival. Do we not hire a cobbler to build up 
the heels of a tramp's shoes? There's more in that than 
meets the casual eye." . . . The composer Haydn thought 
so, too, you remember, and sat down to do ambitious work 
in his best clothes. Now the mass of men's wear in New 
York City is of the ready-made variety. British goods cut 
by a tailor of Fifth Avenue are only for the gilded youth, 



THE CITY OF CITIES 89 

to whom the London cachet means as much as that of 
Paris to his mother and sisters. 

This "semi-ready" trade is in the hands of Jews, and 
the advertisements are a great joy. The New Yorker, it 
seems, must always look young, so the jacket suit is most 
in vogue. Morning coats and silk hats are unusual wear; 
the walking stick is rarely seen. The Ready-for-Service 
people have an ideal model; it is that favoured by the 
exigent college man, "but any youthful mind and figure 
can wear it." It is "bred in the lap of science." You 
are asked to mark the "vigour and character" of a double- 
breasted sack which is subtly attuned "to the wave of 
clothes-culture now sweeping the continent." Over it you 
wear "a sort of bantam ulster with all the bulk tailored 
out of it, and the snap and virility of a form-fitting coat 
tailored into it." "Knee-length and double-breasted; half- 
belted, plain or inversely pleated and finished with slash 
pockets and a convertible collar that operates as easily as 
an electric push-button." 

"Made in both dark and colourful fabrics; skeletonized, 
with a flash of satin in the blades; cut with an eye for 
curves, tailored with an eye for trifles, and finished as 
finely." . . . Such a garment clearly needs "a swagger 
hat to top it off." And here it is — "a new soft felt made 
for us by Stetson, and lending itself to the most rakish 
twist." There may be a fancy vest with this radiant out- 
fit — one "that comes in pearl or tan, or Cuba brown." 
There must be a suitable shirt "of four-ply bosom with 
split neck-bands, felled seams and placket sleeves." From 
this meticulous attire down to the "Trousers Mecca" in 
Fourteenth Street is a heavy fall, but I must deal with the 
great sources of men's dress in New York. 

Those Arabian offerings seem to sell themselves. Here 
they are — "the togs of stunts and outsizes." You may 



90 AMERICA'S DAY 

take them or leave them at $2.50 with no guidance but the 
one sign — "Green is the latest caper!" This is no place 
for the 'varsity man with "sixty years of knowing how" 
behind his "bench-tailored clothes-craft." The Trousers 
Mecca is just a plebeian board of pants — "the stout, chubby 
sort, the tall slender kind," which need a lot of finding 
amid the pants of normal men. A Shoe Medina is next 
door to the Trousers Mecca. Here is a giant dude in card- 
board at the door; a gay Charlie Chaplin of insinuating 
smile, who bids the prowler "Be Good to your Feet this 
Fall"! 

It is in these poorer parts of the town that one sees New 
York's kindliness in operation. Here a college settlement, 
out there in the river a floating home for mothers and 
babes, with trained nurses and dainty food for the suffo- 
cating summer nights. There must be no mention of 
charity in America — only what is due from the Haves to 
the Have-nots. Even the New York slums are sensitive, 
and are quick to resent a tactless exploitation. Some 
years ago the Rubberneck Wagon went down Canal Street 
and toured the East Side — a very different East Side from 
today's — to "do the depravity" of that section between 
Allen Street and The Bowery. The natives were highly 
indignant, and got an express-man to fit out a retaliatory 
expedition at fifteen cents a head. 

Soon Fifth Avenue and Riverside Drive beheld the 
queerest portent creaking by — a crazy van full of happy, 
dilapidated folk, men and women, boys and girls, and 
infants in arms. All were hilarious and ragged and noisy; 
all hugely interested in the palaces they passed, in aston- 
ished faces at the windows, and in the racy yarns— social, 
financial, and matrimonial — which their cicerone fired off 
about the gazing exhibits in a fluent Babel of many tongues. 
It was a great success, and thereafter the Rubbernecks 



THE CITY OF CITIES 91 

confined themselves to Chinatown, leaving white America 
severely alone. 

The benefactions of the metropolis, whether left in wills 
or given in the donor's life-time, are truly staggering. 
Millions of money rain upon the city's institutions — edu- 
cational, pathological, religious, and philanthropic. There 
is money for art, and false teeth for the poor; money to 
cure consumption and "the hook-worm of laziness," which 
is said to affect the Southern negro. There is money to 
fight all things which America dislikes, from despotism to 
old age: there is a Life Extension Institute with ex-Presi- 
dent Taft at the head of it. And there is money without 
stint — millions untold — for scientific research, the kind 
that lightens labour and brightens life. For no limit is 
set to possibilities of science in the United States. 

There are free lawyers to assist the Ellis Island immi- 
grant in the most unlooked-for plight. Here, for example, 
are three Russian women, from whom the Appraiser of 
Customs is claiming $170 duty on the bales of feathers 
they have brought with them, and which rank as "mer- 
chandise." It seems these peasants had long been pluck- 
ing Volga geese and packing their household treasures in 
between the feathers, in anticipation of the day when they 
should sail for America. Embedded in the bales were 
cooking-pots and candlesticks, holy books, gilt ikons, and 
smelly clothes. The Legal Aid Society pleaded success- 
fully with the Port Collector, and the feathers were at last 
admitted as "household goods," though there was enough 
in the bales to bed a whole street. 

Such is New York, whose war relief work in the neutral 
Day covered Europe from Brussels to Belgrade, and thence 
to Beirut and starving Palestine. Through the Federal 
Council of Churches the city appealed to 35,000,000 Amer- 
icans, and through Cardinal Gibbons to America's 16,- 



92 AMERICA'S DAY 

000,000 Catholics. It was New York, in short, that mobil- 
ized the impulsive generosity of the continent. There 
were In-aid-ofs of inexhaustible ingenuity; "chain-let- 
ters" crossed over to the Pacific, gathering millions of 
dollars as they went. You were bidden buy eyes for the 
blinded soldier, milk for the Armenian babe, clothing for 
Serbian refugees, an ambulance for the Somme; a soup- 
kitchen for Berlin, or "Warsaw, or Paris. 

At emotional meetings women gave the jewels from their 
necks and wrists. The illiterate immigrant threw twenty 
cents on the platform. Jacob Schiff handed up $100,000; 
the Rockefeller Foundation voted $1,000,000 for relief in 
Poland and the Balkans. 

The Clearing House Wharf at the foot of Charlton Street 
showed how great was New York's anxiety to alleviate 
Europe's woe with some of her own prosperity. But the 
metropolis, like the rest of America, longed for peace, and 
the ceasing of a havoc too strange for transatlantic minds 
to grasp. "Yes," said the typical New Yorker at a naval 
review, "the Pennsylvania's a wonderful gun-platform; 
so is her sister, the Arizona. The new Mississippi will be 
greater still, I guess. But we'd rather have the Maurc- 
tania racing in once more for our Christmas mails. Can't 
you see her, man, sighted from Nantucket in the tail-end 
of a December blizzard? What a vision of power and 
utility in grey-white tones, shining with frozen spray! 
Her towering bows awash, cascades of water streaming 
from her scuppers, and four enormous funnels belching 
flame and smoke. A regular Pittsburg tumbling through 
our wintry bay. . . . Watch her back up the Ambrose 
Channel, her course lit with blazing buoys, her upper works 
higher than the roofs on the wharfs! Ah, my friend, 
that 's the old-time social link — the giant shuttle of broth- 
erhood between the Old World and the New! You may 
keep your destroyers, your Revenges and VTarspites and 



THE CITY OF CITIES 93 

Iron Dukes. Only send us the Maurctania again, and 
b}- God ! we '11 give her skipper such a welcome as Colum- 
bus never knew!" 



CHAPTER VII 

"dare and do" 

"Atmosphere" is an intangible thing, yet it can mould 
new men. Call it environment if you will, or the radiant 
aura of place and people. The working of it is surprisingly 
seen in America. I have entered a Syrian restaurant in 
"Washington Street, New York, and been all but mobbed 
for language lessons by rayah shepherds and small culti- 
vators from the Metawileh villages around Ba'albek. The 
keenness of these men amazed me, for I have known them 
at home — slow, apathetic, and resigned to the wicked 
tyranny of the Turk. Here they were free. Here life 
has a blue-eyed, cheery look; all were striving and thriv- 
ing, as waifs and strays have done since the first steamer 
Sirius crossed the Atlantic in 1838. It is an inspiring 
sight, this widespread impulse and aspiration. 

"Where were you last night?" I asked the Lithuanian 
Jew boy, who sold me the Evening Post outside the Sub- 
way. "At the Law School," he replied. He was saving 
his money, that earnest lad, not frittering his dimes and 
quarters at the movies or at Coney Island shows. You 
will meet hundreds like him in the Canal Street cafes. 
And Manhattan's Ghetto is the surest place to look for 
poets, musicians, and painters. My paper boy will soon 
be at the New York University, where nine undergrads 
out of ten are Jews. But the zeal for knowledge is uni- 
versal here; it is the key to all success, and that elation 
which sings in Chopin's letter — "I move in the highest 
circles, ana don't know how I got there!" 

The spirit and process are well shown by the Texan 

94 



''DARE AND DO" 95 

student who arrived at the State College with two Jersey- 
cows of a good grade. ''We've lots of cows at home," he 
explained to President Bizzel, "but we are a bit short of 
money, so I'm going to sell milk on the college campus to 
pay my way. All I ask is the use of a barn and a little 
pasture." It was pretty cool, but the freshman had his 
way. At nine cents a quart he cleared $54 a month, 
and wrote off $14 for the cows' feed. In this way did 
the Texan boy secure a college education, at the same 
time offering to others a living lesson in ways and means. 
"I will study and get ready," Abe Lincoln said, "and 
maybe my chance will come." 

This motive is plainly seen in a party of immigrants 
roaming the New York streets to gain ideas and weigh 
their own chances. They have an air of independence 
since they landed. They are like Daniel and his fellow- 
aliens in the gate of the Babylonian king, with notions 
of their own about the worship of the golden image. The 
newcomers are not only thinking; they have already be- 
gun to read. They are spelling out Success-books which 
tell how, from a wooden shack on the water-front at St. 
Paul, James Hill saw an empire in the wilderness — a rail- 
way system which was to cover half the continent. It was 
the same Hill who went to a bush school as a boy, and 
lived to promise aid to King Albert in the rebuilding of 
his ruined kingdom. "There is no substitute for hard 
work," is a saying of this man which the immigrant takes 
to heart in his early stages. 

' ' Organize your leisure " is a hint from people with books 
to sell, the right sort of books. The great thing is to ac- 
quire knowledge, and to buy an outfit for the game. Quite 
likely the immigrant's education began on board the ship. 
Here he had nothing to do but listen, and compare what 
the teacher said with the letters that Franz wrote from 
the Florida groves and Lucia from the Little Italy of 



96 AMERICA'S DAY 

Brooklyn, where she had a fruit stall at the side of a 
saloon. On the big immigrant ships trained social workers 
gave classes in English and talks on American ways; so- 
cial, civic, industrial, and political. Such a missionary 
was the friend and guide of perhaps fifteen hundred souls, 
who were soon to be caged and sorted in the Ellis Island 
pens. 

Even illiterates show new aptitude to learn on board 
the ship bound for America. There are cinema shows, 
dealing with the wonders of town and country life, and 
warning the immigrant of danger to body and soul in the 
siren-city of New York. There are friendly tips and ex- 
hortations to the queer crowd on deck, much as the veteran 
sergeant gave as "the Kitchener Crowd" drew near the 
firing-trench for the first time. ... A little colloquial Eng- 
lish would get a man a job ; it would also help him to find 
his way about the town, and open new avenues of better- 
ment. This ship-board schooling was an excellent plan. 
It roused the interest of these aliens; they w r erc encour- 
aged to continue in the night schools of New York and 
complete the process of Americanization. 

In those night schools the teacher needs no language 
but his own. He knows his adult pupils personally; their 
daily work, ambitions, and tastes suggest new drills in pho- 
netics and English conversation. It is surprising wmat 
progress these people make, especially the Germans, Sy- 
rians, and Greeks. The ideal tutor of a night class shows 
sympathy and perseverance; he is a fervid, ingenious or- 
ganizer supplementing the routine in a social way, and 
turning his school into a club. Debating and singing so- 
cieties are formed. There are musical evenings, addresses 
from public men; recitations, theatricals, visits to the 
library, art-gallery, and museum. 

As for the immigrant women, they are a handful for 
the domestic educator. Mainly peasants from field and 



"DARE AND DO" 97 

farm, they know no more than an ox of sanitation and 
hygiene; of food values, home nursing, or the sewing- 
machine. They need instruction in the very A B C of 
city life; their New York teachers have a tragi-comic 
tussle with dirt and flies, queer customs, and superstition 
deep as life itself. It is different with the children, of 
course. Their former ways melt readily enough in the 
public schools. Here the clash of races so often seen in 
adult classrooms — the impatience of Latin with Teuton, 
friction between Asiatic and Slav — is rosed over with 
cool reason and tact. This softens strife in the play- 
ground, and the races quickly blend. 

All through the elementary grades in school the love 
of home is fostered, and reverence for the parents incul- 
cated with anxious zeal. And for this there is special 
need. Illiterate or careless parents and quick, clever chil- 
dren are all too prone to fall apart in this land of "Presto," 
where "Adagio" is the inveterate note of a slum home. 
Gradually the breach widens through a lack of sympathy 
and understanding on both sides. Sons and daughters 
grow ashamed of uncouth fathers and mothers, who re- 
fuse to mix with America, and cling to the older life. A 
little girl from the Ghetto wants to go on to high school 
from her graduating class. She is already a great reader, 
and father hides her library-card, hoping to avert the 
disruption he sees ahead. 

I am here reminded that the American money-lust — 
the eternal hunt for dollars which tradition abroad has 
fastened on these people as their anima mundi — is very 
largely misapprehended. 

It is not so much money that these people laud as 
energy, efficiency, and success in all walks of life, public 
and private; civic, industrial, artistic, or humanitarian. 
It is in the earning — in the matching of wits, the vying 
in a breathless race, that the American finds his crowning 



98 AMERICA'S DAY 

satisfaction. This is well put by an industrial lord like 
Charles M. Schwab, of the Bethlehem Steel-works, a con- 
cern with 70,000 hands and a pay-roll of $72,000,000 a 
year. "What is it," asked the ironmaster, "that drives 
us on to great enterprise? It is not for the money's sake, 
but for the thrill of accomplishment. Whenever I see a 
man out for nothing but wealth, I ask myself — as the 
brakeman did of the little dog that chased a train — What 
the devil will he do with it when he gets it?" Let Amer- 
ica, therefore, be believed when she defines her Get-rich- 
quickness as the greatest game she knows. Mere money 
these prodigals cannot keep. "While we are the wealth- 
iest people," says the American Bankers' Association in 
its Thrift Campaign, "we are still a nation of spenders." 

A man who saves his money is voted mean; the thing 
is hardly respectable and certainly un-American. Social 
standards rise and surge with the flush time. Establish- 
ments swell with new accretion of income; the same is 
freely spent and capital encroached upon with gay dis- 
regard for the future. A successful neighbour must be 
"gone one better" in the way of frocks and jewels for 
mother and the girls; and sonny must have the car of 
the hour — "an Aluminium Six that rides like a liner and 
leaps to the gas like a blooded horse under the whip!" 
There are seasons at Newport and Palm Beach where 
money is shed as a garment. There is also the visit to 
New York. Here, as we know, riches are put "on the 
toboggan"; and the hotter the pace, the more it is appre- 
ciated. 

There are signs of slowing up, however. This free "cir- 
culation" is questioned now, as so many American traits 
are at this time. It is a hundred years since savings 
banks were first established in America ; and a nation- 
wide effort was recently made to educate the people in 
personal preparedness for the bad times which may be 



"DARE AND DO" 99 

ahead. Five Thrift Days were observed in the public 
schools; special pamphlets were read to the children, and 
then given them to take home to their parents. There 
were Thrift Sundays in the churches, with suitable sermons 
and appeals. Thrift called to citizens and farmers from 
all the papers and magazines. There was Thrift in the 
street-cars and subways and L-trains; advertising on bul- 
letin-boards all over the United States. Illustrated pla- 
cards, changed every month, appeared in the factories, 
offices, and stores. The wage-earner found in his pay- 
envelope a thumb-nail folder suggesting novel ways in 
which he might save. And, of course, the movies preached 
Thrift on the continental scale. America was impressed 
by all this, and still more by the feckless record of one 
hundred typical young men, set out by the Savings Bank 
Section of the American Bankers' Association. These 
were real cases from the courts and insurance companies; 
from the poor-farms, charity societies, and credit depart- 
ments of large concerns. This "Light Brigade" consisted 
of normal Yankee blades, sound enough in body and soul ; 
quick and keen, but with no more idea of saving money 
than they had of loafing their young lives away. Their 
downhill "charge" begins at the age of twenty-five, when 
these knights of the golden spur prick forth on the high 
emprise. Twenty years later fifteen have fallen out and 
are dependent upon their children, or the neighbours, or 
some benevolent society. At the age of sixty-five, fifty- 
four of these have become thus dependent. Out of the 
hundred only five become rich. Sixty of them leave enough 
to pay for their own funeral; thirty-two fail even in this 
miserable respect. 

This is not a wholesome example for the immigrant, 
whom I have pictured schooling himself in New York and 
drilling for the business fray. He is a glutton for knowl- 
edge, this citizen-to-be; his children develop with pushful 



9 



100 AMERICA'S DAY 

Americans in the common schools, which are purely demo- 
cratic. In Illinois a dual method of education was mooted, 
one for the well-to-do, another for the working-classes. 
But the Chicago Teachers' Federation defeated this scheme, 
and at the same time fought the School-book Trusts. 

There are, however, hundreds of private academies for 
the sons and daughters of wealthy people. These are lav- 
ish establishments — "schools of personality," in which the 
elegant arts are taught, from leadership to entertaining; 
how to make a speech or ride a horse, or play the violin 
with the pearly purity that Sevcik taught in Prague. In 
the hot weather such schools as these dissolve into sum- 
mer camps, where the young people frolic in idyllic sur- 
roundings by lake and wood and mountain. The States vie 
with one another in this matter of education; private 
gifts and bequests to the college and university run into 
millions every year. The rural school is a genial com- 
munity centre; and there is now vocational training for 
the Indian children in twenty-four Western States, with 
headquarters at Santa Fe, N. M. 

Only the South has been backward in this regard, but 
she is showing improvement, even as regards the black 
children and those of the "poor whites" of the mountain 
districts. Education must be above all things practical, 
and much ingenuity is locally shown to make it so. Thus 
a school in Portland, Ore., has twenty-four acres of model 
garden. Arithmetic is taught in a "play -store," which is, 
in fact, a well-found shop, complete with groceries, canned 
goods, and dairy produce. There are business-like coun- 
ters for the little salesfolk; an automatic till, too, and a 
cashier's desk, where accounts are paid and change given 
out in real American money. 

The Bible is barred from the schools through fear of 
sectarian teaching and consequent discord in the homes. 
I have heard many protests against this, as a system which 



"DARE AND DO" 101 

provides no spiritual or ethical ideals beyond a patriotic 
hymn and an occasional salute of the Stars and Stripes. 

Thus far I have considered the married immigrant and 
his family. But what of the alien bachelor, lingering in 
America's gate, which is New York? He slips into a job 
the day after he lands — any sort of job. And then he looks 
round to take his bearings. He dresses gaily, as young 
Montaigne did to humour a world that likes a brave show. 
This Aladdin city takes hold of the man. Anything is 
possible here, he believes. And this spacious faith, this 
pervasive wonder and tip-toe looking for "the next" forms 
the groundwork of a patriotism that grows until the day 
of citizen papers, with its pageant of music and flags, and 
general felicitation. 

The five-year interval has been well and shrewdly spent, 
for America works like a charm on the receptive man, and 
spreads the will-to-win with infectious zest. His earliest 
reading was the literature of self-building, and those books 
of power which fairly shout from the advertisement pages 
of every newspaper and magazine. "Which is YOU" — 
is a typical challenge — "the Man in the Street, or the Man 
in the Car; the Man with a grand home and a string of 
servants to do his bidding?" A picture at the top shows 
a poor devil nearly run over by a fur-coated plutocrat with 
panicky hands on the steering-wheel and a diamond "head- 
light" in his tie. "You can't get on by looking on," is a 
caustic reminder. "From Pick and Shovel to Consulting 
Engineer" is the tale of a lonely alien who gave up his 
evenings to a correspondence course. And again: "The 
Boss is Sizing You up!" The boss of the salesmen, whose 
star lad (the text informs us) is now on the road to earn- 
ing $100 a week with a bacon-slicer which enables the 
grocer to sell bone at twenty-five cents a pound. 

These appeals carry portraits of great men who were 
"all poor boys and missed a college education." Thus the 



102 AMERICA'S DAY 

Carnegie family are pictured in Barefoot Square, Slabtown, 
Pa. Here little Andy got a job as bobbin-boy in the cot- 
ton mill at $1.20 a week — the mighty Andy who was one 
day to mould millionaires and give away $300,000,000. 

Joe Pulitzer, the Hungarian Jew, was another humble" 
alien whose career is set out as a model. He was soon a 
prince of the press, the owner of the New York World, and 
the donor of a couple of millions to Columbia University 
in one lump. And so with all the big fellows. Henry 
Frick came of folks so poor that as a child of eight he was 
sowing corn on the farm, with no boots and only a precari- 
ous winter schooling. Now behold Henry Frick today, 
buying Rembrandts and Flemish tapestry; bronzes of the 
Renaissance, and rare furniture by great ebenistes of the 
eighteenth century! AVhat capital had these strong souls 
to start with? What culture or social "pull" as they set 
foot on the first rung and stared at the stars? . . . 

Consider the career of "Plunger" Gates! Or the cattle 
baron, whose herds range over a bovine empire; the mail- 
order man whose suasive leaflets fall like snow in every 
town and prairie hamlet between the two oceans. How 
assiduous they all were! How unwearied in pursuit, por- 
ing and experimenting with incredible pains ; the Lionardos 
of a business era, determined to "get there" and rule 
the rest — "Better be the head of a mouse than the tail of 
a lion!" 

Such is the printed word that kindles the young Ameri- 
can — "the man who won't stay down," as the rousing pages 
of power describe him. There is no conceivable calling, it 
seems, which may not be taught in his leisure hours through 
Uncle Sam's mails. Thus the New Yorker can study song- 
writing under the Tsar of Rag-time, who lives a thousand 
miles off in Chicago. There are postal courses in forestry 
and law; in dentistry, chiropody, and aviation. The as- 
pirant merely makes a choice and pays his money; books 



"DARE AND DO" 103 

and postal lessons do the rest. He may incline to plumb- 
ing or poultry; to mining, railroading, or the dressing of 
a draper's window. Here again the ambitious are fired 
with golden facts, such as the fees paid to famous profes- 
sionals. "They have no more ability than you, only they're 
trained in grip and go." 

In this way are high hopes of his own career raised in the 
restless youth who feels within himself the "hundred per 
cent, efficiency of a goal-getter." For three dollars he 
can buy a book of secrets which will change his whole life. 
The author of that book is not modest; indeed, "How to 
have Nerve" is one of his leading chapters. He claims 
to be a builder of back-bone ; the deviser of a system which 
dispels all fear and plays upon the small man's diffidence 
as "a ghost-scattering searchlight on the rich fields of life." 
His book will galvanize the weakling into activity. It will 
mass the cell-forces into new power to "put things over," 
and fox the foxiest neighbour until that neighbour laughs 
at his own defeat and hails his master in that studious 
fellow. 

All this for three dollars! But there are deeps beyond 
mere knowledge, and the reader is promised "a bodily 
buoyancy — a tingling zest which you never felt before." 
The mention of physical fitness reminds me that America 
puts health even before this hypnosis and drill of the 
mind. There are stringent food and hygienic laws, rang- 
ing from clean milk to mad dogs. There are weird diets 
for the fat and the lean, the neurotic, dyspeptic, and sleep- 
less; Mr. Edison has his own "Insomnia Squad" helping 
him in the problems of electrochemics and naval war. 
"Health first — pleasure follows" is the arrestive slogan of 
the Corrective Eating Society. One is amazed at the pub- 
licity given to "preparedness" of this kind, together with 
tips and warnings from all manner of men — the prize- 
fighter and an ex-President of the United States, Mr. 



104 AMERICA'S DAY 

W. H. Taft. During his term at the White House his 
great bulk was a real trial to Mr. Taft. It may be remem- 
bered that his fabulous trousers were borne upon a pole 
by admirers in the Inaugural Parade. That genial states- 
man tipped the beam at 342 lbs. when he re-entered private 
life, and then he began a regimen whieh reduced his 
weight by 75 lbs. in ten months. Mr. Taft himself tells 
the story. 

I know no people so keen as Americans upon physical 
vigour, and the causes supposed to promote it. Of course 
it is the last of the speed-up which accounts for this; the 
business world's message to all is "Make good or get out!" 
Hence the artillery of tonics and dope for the man who 
feels "all in" from overwork or strain. Hence the best 
dentists and the worst quacks in the world — the vitopath 
and hypnotic healer; the magic potions and electric belts 
which "charge the body with the bubbling joy of wingfoot 
manhood." 

An addiction to drugs and bracers is decidedly on the 
increase, especially those containing cocaine, morphine, 
heroin, and opium. The Harrison Act of 1914 has failed 
to stop the traffic in these narcotics; and Dr. C. B. Towns 
of New York has urged upon Congress a Federal Com- 
mission to study the growing evil and stamp it out with 
drastic laws. It is not so long since America was startled 
with vital statistics, and the causes behind them, from the 
Association of Life Insurance Presidents, a body entitled 
to attentive hearing. At their convention the Public Serv- 
ice Commissioner of the Equitable flatly declared that 
"the physical force of our people has declined." This was 
partly due to the great increase in wealth, partly to the 
time- and labour-saving devices which had altered American 
habits and made all forms of exercise unnecessary. 

At the same time, the consumption of rich foods had 
increased ; the sedentary worker took far more than the 



"DARE AND DO" 105 

2500 calories a day prescribed for him by Professor Lusk, 
of the Cornell Medical College. The result was alarming, 
as seen from the insurance records. These showed far too 
many people over forty who were from fifteen to eighty 
pounds above normal weight. And among these the death- 
rate was from nine to seventy-five per cent, in excess of 
the average. 

Revelations of this kind tend to increase anxiety and 
fads, and to multiply experts of dubious fame. In the 
schoolroom boys and girls — with the aid of cardboard 
skeletons — are taught how to drive "the internal com- 
bustion engine" of the body through a strenuous Ameri- 
can life, with due regard for the nerves which are "the 
sparking plugs or energizers" of the whole machine. 
Meanwhile mother vows she will buy no food at the grocer's 
which is not put up in sealed packages. And father is 
warned by the physicians not to cultivate any hair on his 
face. What is the moustache but a focus of infection in 
the office, workshop, and factory? "You may not feel 
the bacteria that flock to your face, but all the same you 
take home a choice collection of belligerent bugs"! The 
Menace of Whiskers is the theme of an M.D. in a popular 
paper, and he thanks God that "the Americans who sport 
a trellis-work of this kind are as rare as Irish royalists"! 

Chicago was the first metropolis to start a municipal 
Diet Squad of twelve men and ladies. They were well fed 
on forty cents a day; they were frequently weighed, and 
the figures flashed to all the cities of the continent. It was 
an heroic regimen for Thanksgiving Day, when all Amer- 
ica feasted on turkey and mince pies, while a devoted squad 
drilled with Dr. Robertson, the city's principal physician. 

"Don't hurry," he ordained, as the hominy and codfish 
balls were disappearing. "You must Fletcherizc, and 
chew each mouthful at least twenty times." This sort of 
thing is taken seriously in America. "Don't hurry; don't 



106 AMERICA'S DAY 

worry"; this is the latest official counsel. Even Federal 
Government concerns itself with these social aspects and 
their bearing upon the national soul. "Worry weakens 
our mental forces," the U. S. Health Service explains in a 
special pamphlet for popular circulation. "It tires and 
undermines us by doing nothing. The mind's engine runs 
idle under these vague fears, at the same time delivering 
no propulsive force. Worry is the protective instinct be- 
come abnormal. Consider the lower creatures. No bird 
that we know ever tried to build more nests than his 
neighbour. No fox ever fretted because he had only one 
hole, no squirrel ever died of anxiety lest he hadn't laid 
by enough nuts for two winters instead of one. We are 
quite sure no dog ever lost any sleep because he hadn't 
buried enough bones to provide for his declining years. ' ' 

The campaign against the liquor traffic is only a fight for 
clear thinking and productive power, with the moral aspect 
an "also ran," on the great industrial course. Twenty- 
three States are now bone-dry; nine more are drying up; 
and by 1920 the Bryanites may easily win the thirty-six 
State votes which will place 105,000,000 people under 
nation-wide prohibition. The long battle between alcohol 
and industry is well worthy of notice, for the issue is pre- 
eminently American. It recalls the complacency of Ben 
Franklin, who, as a "water- American" in the London 
printing-shop, proved himself a stronger fellow than the 
beer-drinkers. That was nearly two centuries ago. 

The tenets of the citizen on this question are not those 
of the fanatic, or the Anti-Saloon League, but rather those 
of the Tin Plate Trust and the Pennsylvania Railroad. 
Throughout the vast works of the Illinois Steel at Joliet 
and Gary, electric signs shower discouragement upon drink 
— "Did Booze ever get you a better job?" Promotions 
are only made from among abstainers by the company's 
foremen and inspectors. The social change in this respect 



''DARE AND DO" 107 

is more than sweeping ; it amounts to a revolution. There 
was a time when the town bell rang for the labourers' 
grog ; there was rum provided by farmers at harvest- 
time "to ward off the sun." In winter the ice-cutters, 
the masons and carpenters out in zero weather, drank 
hot toddy as a matter of course. Grog-shops followed 
the railway gangs and the miners and lumbermen of the 
West, as well as the prairie pioneers of Boomtown, where 
crude petroleum spouted over the tops of the derricks. 
The Labour Union, as Samuel Gompers reminds us, at 
first met in a saloon ; the steel mill managers were sure 
that workers in the blast-furnace would die unless they 
were dosed with whisky between the heats. Even the 
engine-driver on the railway took a bottle into his cab, 
and after an awful accident one heard that "some one 
had been drinking." 

It was Science which altered this — the science that saves 
time and converts every atom of human energy into out- 
put, efficiency, and results. But it was the employers' 
liability for compensation which set that science in motion. 
The injured workman had to be paid, no matter what 
the cause of the mishap. So if the employer tolerated 
tippling it was his own look-out. And he began to look 
very keenly indeed into the matter. lie was soon inter- 
ested in appliances and safety campaigns. Then came 
the war upon alcohol. In this the railroads led, for here 
if anywhere was need for clear eyes and nimble wits. 
A switch misplaced, a signal ignored, a telegram misread, 
and a hundred human beings were killed with every cir- 
cumstance of horror. Yet the pioneers of teetotal reform 
had an uphill climb; "personal liberty" was not to be 
interfered with in Liberty's own land. The railroads per- 
sisted, however. They exacted pledges, and wont further 
still — they dismissed from their service the man who en- 
tered a saloon. The logical sequence was to cut out the 



108 AMERICA'S DAY 

drinks served in the dining-car; and in this reform the 
Pennsylvania Railroad led. 

Today there are over two million employes who are 
strictly dry, and well catered for by railway clubs and 
centres of cheer. One hundred and fifty steel and iron 
magnates gave their views about the old-time vice of 
''rushing the can"; all were agreed that it reduced the 
men s labour, and was a source of serious accidents. Some 
large employers buy up the saloons near their works in 
order to abolish them. "A man with a bottle of whisky," 
says the Du Pont Powder concern, "is as perilous in our 
plant as a bomb-thrower." 

In some centres cold milk and tea, and cost-price meals 
are provided as an offset to the old lure. The Philadelphia 
Quartz people put the matter on a dollar-and-cents basis, 
and now pay the total abstainer — as the better workman — 
ten per cent, more wages than the moderate drinker. It 
is in the main a commercial crusade, and the results sur- 
pass all expectations. No moral zealousy could have 
worked the miracle which these business men have wrought, 
and the wonder spread like a religious revival. Temper- 
ance advocates talk to the men in the dinner-hour. Anti- 
liquor literature is given out for home reading. There 
are bulletin boards and flashing signs to make new eon- 
verts, and keep the wobblers and backsliders on the dry 
line. Medical men lecture to the assembled hands on alco- 
hol as a depressant ; and the time spent in listening to this 
is paid for by the company at the highest rate. 

Make no mistake about this teetotal taming of the Amer- 
ican. He is above all things a practical man. He has 
harnessed the Niagara Falls to electric turbines, and now 
asks of the flood another two million horse-power. He 
would unweave the rainbow if it paid him, or empty the 
haunted air and the gnomed mine with a shrewd "What's- 
in-it-f or-me 1 ' ' 



"DARE AND DO" 109 

The American contends that his meat and grain have 
done more for mankind than all the schools of philosophy. 
Look at his little daughter — say, Minnie Rohmer of Bea- 
man, la. Minnie was given a calf to rear in a feeding 
contest which was not to exceed $6.50 per hundred pounds 
of meat gain. Within a year the child stood beside a 
monster that was hailed as champion by the Iowa Beef 
Producers. Even the negro preacher — the prize orator at 
Tuskegee College waves a prize cabbage in his black fist as 
he roars, "De eart' am full ob dy riches, Lord!" And 
therewith he kicks a bushel of giant maize on the pulpit 
floor at his ecstatic feet. 

All the great stores read dollars and cents in the weather, 
just as the electric power people do in the scenery of the 
Rocky Mountains. Trade advertisements are displayed or 
withdrawn in accordance with predictions from the Bureau. 
Thus rain in the early morning is bad for the shops, whereas 
afternoon showers give the counters a welcome boost. A 
summer that is cool until late June means a heavy loss to 
the stores, for the women refrain from buying. And when 
it gets warmer they still waver, uncertain now whether 
they will "get the good of their clothes" in what remains 
of the season. Gloomy weather, the dentists say, keeps 
their parlours empty in spite of the appointments made. 
On the other hand a lowering day keeps the drug-store 
clerks and telephones busy with orders for liveners and 
dope. The insurance agents also bless the clouds and the 
squalls, for these seem to chasten exuberance and give even 
American life a more sober outlook in which a "policy 
talk" is feasible. A tobacco company of New York City 
with a chain of shops, looks to lose $4000 on a stormy day, 
simply because smoking is disagreeable in a high wind and 
rain. It is not alone the farmer and grain-gambler who 
follows the forecast of the U. S. Weather Bureau. 

And yet for all his shrewdness, the American remains the 



110 AMERICA'S DAY 

most sentimental of men, with social and ethical aims be- 
yond any I know in the older nations. Those aims may 
be unrealizable — the mirage of expectancy and national 
youth; nevertheless they remain a potent factor in a people 
to whom the day's strife is a rebellion with banners, a 
triumphant march towards betterment of man's estate. 
Here is inconsistency which is not easily explained in a 
paragraph. In these people qualities of sense conflict oddly 
with the spirit. The most literal perspicacity is mixed 
with a visionary exaltation which in this New World re- 
calls the singular antithesis of the Middle Ages. The Ger- 
mans have judged America correctly in this regard as one 
sees from the opinion of Dr. Dernburg, who was their 
propagandist in the United States. 

"It is wrong," Herr Dernburg told his Berlin audience, 
"to regard the American as a pure materialist. True, he 
is English in language and habit (which was bad enough, 
indeed!) but, he does carry a great deal of moral baggage 
with him." The point is aptly put, and force is lent to 
it by President Wilson's Notes and speeches during the 
war. "I would fain believe," Dr. Wilson told the Sen- 
ate, "that I am speaking for the silent mass of mankind 
everywhere, who have had no place or opportunity to speak 
their real hearts out concerning the death and ruin they 
see already upon the persons and homes they hold most 
dear." In the same address the Upper House was re- 
minded of America's special mission "ever since we set 
up as a new nation in the high and honourable hope that 
in all that it was and did it might show mankind the way 
to Liberty." This is the note of America's schools. It 
is also the lesson which the immigrant learns with much 
of the patriot faith of old Japan: "There is no need to 
pray, for the country itself is divine." America is con- 
sidered apart in destiny, with higher ideals and unique 
facilities for attaining them. 



"DARE AND DO" 111 

Therefore all things combine to foster hope in the hum- 
blest citizen, if he keeps his body fit and his brain keyed to 
the high American tension. With this end in view the 
State Governments rain hygienic guidance on their com- 
munities. But their leaflets are now eclipsed by the 
Moving Picture Health Car, which North Carolina sends 
on a rural round where a guarantee of $90 can be got 
for a month's service, and go-ahead county boards, rich 
farmers, and local housewives often start a fair for the 
purpose. This laboratory on wheels carries a trained me- 
chanic and a medical lecturer who announces the show 
with a megaphone. The car has a camp and kitchen out- 
fit for the crew's use in the remoter wilds. It generates 
electric light, and strings the village hall with cables full 
of coloured bulbs. The program is changed every fort- 
night for the edification of country folks; and these look 
for the car as their children might for a circus. It is an 
event, a distraction, a novelty. It is even good for trade, 
because a film on the care of the teeth increases the sale 
of tooth-brushes; the fly-fighting pictures induce folks to 
order screens for their doors and windows. 

Typhoid, malaria, and tuberculosis are some of the sub- 
jects flashed upon the screen, with cunning embroidery 
of human interest, lest they prove "deadly" in the show- 
man's sense as well as in the doctor's. It is now proposed 
to extend this service to agriculture and domestic science — 
even to religious and uplift themes, such as make for better 
rural homes, and a happier and richer country life. All 
this ministry sharpens expectations and gives the charlatan 
unbounded scope among simple people who look for mira- 
cles, and are often robbed on a great scale. There is 
no land so afflicted with bogus doctors as America, thanks 
to the welter of laws in her self-governing States. I know 
no scandal so insidious and huge, no American reform more 
urgent — especially on account of the foreign born, who are 



112 AMERICA'S DAY 

easily impressed by big words, by strung out "degrees," 
and the magic of science which can do all things but raise 
the dead. 

Consider New England as a quack field, now swarming 
with alien labour. Here the foreign born are thirty-one 
per cent, of the population, with 81 newspapers of their 
own in thirteen different languages. It comes as a shock 
to learn that one-third of the great and cultured city of 
Boston is made up of foreigners. I know a small Massa- 
chusetts town whose seven thousand people you may sort 
out into twenty-one races, speaking as many different 
tongues. These are the communities reached and fleeced 
by bogus doctors, who spend $40,000,000 a year in the 
newspapers, playing upon credulity and anxiety with mer- 
ciless cunning. 

The mischief done by these pests is heartrending. Here 
is a Polish boy of nine, discharged from the New York 
Orthopasdic Hospital, securely trussed in iron braces. 
These, the mother was warned, were on no account to be 
removed for fear of straining the cripple's spine. Then 
came the quack advertisement and the fond mother's 
reply; the visit to a palace of magnetic healing with $100 
in her hand — all the savings of a little bakery in the slums. 
Next day the child was back in hospital in a dying state, 
and the wizard skipped off to his Baltimore branch until 
the fuss died down. 

"We have no definition in this State," Mr. C. S. An- 
drews told me — he was prosecuting counsel to the Medical 
Society of New York — "as to what constitutes 'the prac- 
tice of medicine.' We have often asked the Legislature in 
Albany to define this for us, and they have as often re- 
fused. We do what we can, of course, but our best effort 
is no more than a drop of remedj^ in an ocean of infamy. 
Some of the quacks employ qualified doctors to make false 
diagnoses, or even to produce wounds upon healthy tissue 



"DARE AND DO" 113 

by means of erodent acids. These are kept open as long 
as the money flows. It is very difficult to convict these 
men. In any case they set up afresh in another name and 
another State, perhaps two thousand miles away. Then 
Little Italy has its quack healers. So has Little Russia, 
Bohemia, Hungary, Greece, and the rest. How are we to 
get at these?" 

Perhaps by "tapping new springs of democracy," as 
President Wilson urged in the domestic program which 
is so dear to him in these crusading days. "The votes of 
far-sighted men must be recruited by the votes of women, 
so that we raay have fresh insight into matters of social 
reform, and move more certainly and promptly in all the 
problems with which our government must henceforth 
deal." 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 

"Legislation will be a vain thing until the antagonisms of industry- 
give place to generous rivalries in the pursuit of Fair Play. Labour 
and Capital, with angry insistence upon their rights, have entirely 
overlooked their obligation." — President Wilson. 

The outbreak of a world-war threw the United States into 
profound distress and gloom; it is curious to recall this 
fact in view of the roaring times that followed. The South 
was in despair, unable to sell its cotton. New York, for 
all its wealth and careless pride, was afraid it could not pay 
its debts, and therefore closed her Stock Exchange for 
four months. "In' all previous panics," says the official 
chronicle of that institution, "the markets abroad were 
counted upon to come to the rescue and break the fall. 
Imports of gold, foreign loans and foreign buying were 
safeguards which prevented complete disaster. But now 
our market stood unaided. An unthinkable convulsion 
had seized the world. Our boasted bonds of civilization 
burst overnight and plunged us all into barbarism." 

The savings banks fell back on a panic law, and would 
only pay deposits upon sixty days' notice. For the first 
time bankers called to their aid the Aldrich-Vreeland 
emergency currency. And Clearing House certificates 
were issued as in the dark old days. The great steel in- 
dustry was turning thousands of hands into the streets; 
and Government was appealed to on behalf of the unem- 
ployed who were soon an army of millions. Soup-kitchens 
and public charities were besieged in a manner wholly 
un-American. . . . How the scene changed in 1915 as an 
industrial drama of historic interest! For three months 

114 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 115 

the export of food-stuffs rose; and by April the first big 
order was placed for $83,000,000 worth of munitions of 
war. Thereafter the clouds lifted with dream-like swift- 
ness until America had paid off a mortgage of five thou- 
sand million dollars, thanks to Europe's ravening needs. 
The export trade of 1916 was nearly $2,000,000,000 be- 
yond that of 1915; the excess of exports over imports was 
ten times greater than in 1914. There are no records 
comparable with these in the whole story of American 
commerce. 

Great fortunes were made in a night ; a concern like the 
Bethlehem Steel could declare a dividend of two hundred 
per cent. The humblest alien found work at unheard-of 
rates, and buyers for the Allies were outbidding each other 
in frenzied contracts. It is not possible to exaggerate the 
chaos and confusion of this transition time, when agents 
with unlimited credit burst upon traders who had been 
whistling to keep up their courage after the first collapse. 
One Government gave an order for a chemical which was 
five times greater than America's entire production of it. 
I cannot deal at any length with the "war-brokers" and 
their games. The mechanic with the lathe, the clerk with 
a can of coal-tar — these became shell-makers or dealers in 
dye. They talked in millions, dogging the buyers from 
London and Paris, Petrograd, Rome, Belgrade, and Bu- 
charest. Short of cash, though long of nerve and wit, 
many a bright young man dealt mysteriously in horses 
and mules, in rifles, machine-guns, and explosives. In 
cotton, too, and woollens and hides; in machinery and 
food-stuffs, cartridges, copper and war-inventions of awe- 
some range. 

It is a peculiar fact that Labour troubles multiplied in 
these flush times. In the fiscal year of 1915 the Depart- 
ment of Labour dealt with forty-one disputes involving 
138,100 hands. By 1916 there were 227 cases, affecting 



116 AMERICA'S DAY 

350,800 men. And yet large increases had been granted 
to the workers, in most cases voluntarily, to offset the cost 
of living, which had soared. There were economic causes 
for this, of course; but there were also artful corners in 
food, and the trickery of petty trusts like that of the 
potato-men up in Maine. There were also cold storage 
stunts and a general shyness to part with supplies. The 
farmers were hanging on for a rise. 

Here, as in Europe, profiteering was a great game, and 
the man with food to sell extorted the last penny before 
he would market his hoard. The result was that the 
dollar bought less than at any time since the Civil War. 
Flour went to $12 a barrel, or more than double what it 
fetched in 1914. The mine workers of Ohio came to Pres- 
ident Wilson, demanding a nation-wide inquiry into a 
rocketing of food rates, which left the extra wages far 
behind. "He didn't keep us out of war-prices," was now 
a rueful caption below the President 's portrait. The truth 
is there was no thrift shown, and the carpenter at $50 
a week spent every cent of his increase. With Europe's 
millions withdrawn from productive labour; with its youth 
in the trenches, and millions more (to say nothing of the 
women) turned to the arts of destruction, the immense 
American workshop found fierce demands upon its energy, 
and economic chaos was the result. 

Factory bosses of the Middle West vied with each other 
in tempting schoolboys with $15 a week for screwing 
common nuts in place. A hurry call to the skilled me- 
chanic meant two dollars an hour — or say $5000 a year. 
All industrial concerns made haste to raise wages. The 
U. S. Steel added ten per cent, to the pay-roll of 318,000 
men, a matter involving $20,000,000. The Standard Oil 
did the same, so did the Westinghouse and the General 
Electric. Banks and insurance companies, the New Eng- 
land mills, and the motor-shops out West all followed suit, 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 117 

until 25,000,000 workers had an increase amounting to 
$7,000,000,000, distributed all over the continent. Even 
Government salaries were raised — for the first time since 
Walt Whitman was a Treasury clerk half-a-century ago. 

And still Labour was dissatisfied. Strikes and lock-outs 
were declared in the unlikeliest quarters. An eight-hour 
day was the issue in Pittsburg. In New York even the 
garment-hands walked out. Strangest of all, the typists 
and stenographers of the American Federation of Labour 
asked for a minimum wage of $3 a day, and were backed 
up by the Central Union. But the gravest trouble — the 
shadow of a national calamity — was the threat of a general 
railroad strike throughout the United States, paralysing 
the good time and bringing everything to a standstill. 
This menace came in the midst of a Presidential campaign, 
and Dr. Wilson handled it with a boldness quite unlike 
his usual caution. He sided with the Four Brotherhoods 
of railway labour in their demand for an eight-hour day. 
Strike funds totalling $15,000,000 had been mobilized for 
a conflict which should spread like a storm, involving many 
other trades. 

President Wilson hurried to Congress as champion of 
the Brotherhoods and twelve other Unions, all linked with 
the Federation of Trade, and representing 700,000 men. 
Mr. W. C. Adamson framed the Eight Hour Bill, which 
bears his name, and this was passed as the new unit of a 
day's wage for all workers operating trains in Inter-State 
commerce. 

But the new measure was promptly challenged by the 
railroads as "an unconstitutional interference with the 
liberty of contract." Meanwhile the strike was called otf, 
leaving the employers sore and the men suspicious that 
President Wilson had "tied a string" to the prize he had 
given them. And so indeed he had. For when the Adam- 
son Law was passed, the President urged that in fu- 



118 AMERICA'S DAY 

ture an? inquiry into industrial disputes should be made 
compulsory; and that, furthermore, until the investiga- 
tions were complete "no strike or lock-out shall lawfully 
be attempted." The President's model was the Canadian 
Industrial Disputes Act, which has worked fairly well — 
though the Dominion Trade and Labour Congress claims 
that "it pinches only one foot," and binds but one side in 
these industrial wars. 

In no nation have Labour troubles been so frequent or 
so bloody as in the United States, where strike-breaking 
is a regular craft employing thousands of armed men. 
Disorder has often been on so great a scale as to pass 
beyond police control and call out the State Militia, or 
even the Federal troops, as in the Chicago "battles" of 
1894, which began in the Pullman Works and spread to 
the Railway Union. It is now hoped that such strife 
belongs to the past. There is a gulf not measured in years 
alone between Henry Prick of the Homestead "war," and 
the Henry Ford of 1917, with his profit-sharing schemes 
and his minimum wage of five dollars a day for a staff 
counted in tens of thousands. As a Peace apostle Mr. Ford 
had no success; as an employer of labour the ascetic little 
man is a power in the United States, where he aspires to 
employ a hundred thousand hands and turn out a million 
cars each year. 

Thomas Edison paid a visit to the "Detroit mechanic," 
who was busy with farm tractors, such as the maimed 
soldier might use after the war. "Ford is the most hu- 
mane man I know," was the great inventor's verdict. 
"He's all machines, of course; but what he talks about 
most is his men. Are they doing their work easily as well 
as efficiently? Henry's critics take him to task for the 
high wages he pays. Why, they work out at America's 
lowest! I pay less, but Henry gets more for his money." 
Mr. Ford is the pioneer of shorter hours on quite new 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 119 

(and mechanical) lines. In February, 1913, 16,000 of his 
men, working ten hours a day, produced 16,000 cars. Just 
one year later, with other aids and systems — with task 
analysis and "progressive assembling" — 15,800 men pro- 
duced 26,000 cars. 

This man is the Messiah of the Central West; an in- 
dustrial dreamer, a benevolent despot, with fifty-three 
different nationalities in his employ. "No workman," he 
contends, "will take pride in his work if he's underpaid, or 
has no leisure in which to enjoy his life." And therewith 
Mr. Ford cut a Christmas "melon" of $850,000 which he 
shared among his foremen and department chiefs. These 
are the new ideals of American business. They go much 
further than the installation of a well-equipped hospital 
in the mill, or the display of signs urging "Safety First," 
and total abstinence from booze. The speed-up remains, 
of course; it is eveu intensified in queer scientific ways. 
But "welfare" is now a great word between employer and 
employed. It is carried to extremes in that marvellous 
' ' foreign ' ' city of Detroit, where every third man you meet 
is an alien. 

The coloured map of the Board of Commerce in this 
place, showing the location of the different races, is like a 
war-chart of Europe in 1918. The Slav splash of colour 
looms largest of all. Other areas show the habitat of 
Italians and Jews; of Magyar and Ruman, Belgian, Ar- 
menian, and Greek. Detroit is above all cities the best 
in which to study the process of Americanization, as well 
as that new "spirit of the hive" and specialized labour, 
which can turn out a six-cylinder car at $1000, with a 
constant tendency to raise the power and reduce the price. 

"Keep your workers happy" is the watchword of Amer- 
ican capital today. But the happiness must pay its way; 
it is a commercial aim on peculiar lines, satisfying both 
sides — for a while. I know a factory in Rochester, N. Y., 



120 AMERICA'S DAY 

where it takes seventy hands to turn a South American 
ivory nut into a trousers button. The work is very mo- 
notonous, but the girls who do it are cheered with music — 
with lilting melodies from batteries of gramophones in- 
stalled in airy rooms. Ventilation, by the way, is a typ- 
ical feature as a dividend-payer ; for bad air is more tiring 
than hard work. ''What's the matter?" asks the boss at 
three in the afternoon. "Not so much snap and drive 
as at eleven o'clock. Production seems to sag. What's 
the cause?" And fans and blowers are installed; heating 
and cooling systems whose cost is carefully weighed against 
the extra output which energized workers will show. 

The only way to mend a bad world, ' ' says Henry Ford, 
"is to create a good one, and give the workman his due 
in a generous spirit." Hence the profit-sharing principle 
and the higher standard of life insisted upon by the 
Ford Educational Department. This is an inquisition of 
peculiar powers, like the company itself, which is inde- 
pendent of banks and has its own deposits of iron ore on 
the Pacific Coast. 

It is worth recording that his polyglot army show no 
great gratitude to this singular man. ' ' I don 't owe nathun ' 
t' Henry Ford," snapped the rugged Pole at the Detroit 
night school, where the motto is "Learn English and get 
better pay." "When he pay me tree dollar, I make tree 
hunnud bolts in ten hour. Now I work eight hour an' get 
five dollar. But I make nine hunnud bolts!" Even the 
alien worker has no illusions on this score. None the less 
a profound change of relations is manifest. It was clearly 
stated in an address to Cornell University by Mr. John D. 
Rockefeller, Jr., who hoped that "the personal element in 
industry would soon be regarded as an important part 
of the college course, which aims at fitting a man for busi- 
ness life." 

"Hitherto," Mr. Rockefeller pursued, "the chief execu- 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 121 

tives of our great undertakings have been chosen chiefly 
for their organizing or financial capacity. The time is 
come, I think, when the best men for such positions are 
they who can deal successfully and amicably with Labour, 
which is, after all, the natural partner of Capital. And 
personal contact of the right sort gives us the greatest 
promise of bridging the chasm which opens between em- 
ployer and employed ! ' ' The speaker had just visited his 
coal mines in Colorado, where downright slavery existed 
not long ago, and a bloody warfare broke out which scan- 
dalized all America. Mr. Rockefeller went from camp to 
camp among the aliens, talking with their families, visit- 
ing their schools and places of amusement. "These men," 
he reports, "and many in the State besides, had formed 
their opinion of any one bearing the name of Rockefeller. 
. . . Because of the disturbances, bitterness and hatred ex- 
isted in a high degree." And no wonder. The exploita- 
tion of cheap foreign labour is a fact which no American 
disputes, though he hopes the worst of it is over. The 
labourers, especially in foundries and mines, were enslaved 
in the most literal meaning of the word. And when they 
rebelled they were shot down by armed guards, or by strike- 
breakers, as at Lawrence and Patersou; and at Everett, 
Wash., where on "Bloody Sunday" the casualties were five 
killed, thirty wounded, and a hundred more in gaol. 

Many of these aliens realize that, although they escape 
one form of militarism in the Old World, they are seized 
by another in the New — the militarism of money, and the 
vicious concept of the human machine. Here they found 
the titans of trade using men as the cottager at home used 
bees. They were creatures of profit; the study of them 
had a cash value, and was reduced to an exact science. 
That the wage-earner's life and limbs were cheaply held 
admits of no doubt. The American Institute of Social 
Service collected industrial casualties for four years, and 



122 AMERICA'S DAY 

set thein in telling array against the fours years' slaughter 
of the Civil War. It was then seen that money's militarism 
was by far the bloodier, exceeding that of the armed strife 
by eighty thousand deaths. 

In the quarries and mines — coal and iron, lead, copper, 
silver, and gold — Mr. John Mitchell, of the United Mine 
Workers, reckoned 11,986 cases of killed and injured in 
an average year. By no means all the States record their 
accidents, and official returns are questioned by unbiassed 
observers like the late Dr. Josiah Strong, whose motto 
was: "Better a fence at the top than an ambulance down 
below!" Indiscipline and ignorance account for much of 
this industrial havoc. Thus, out of 448 collisions on the 
railway, three-fourths of them were due to negligence on 
the part of trainmen and engineers. One hundred and 
seven more occurred through heedless signallers and de- 
spatches. Then foreign workers in the mines are careless 
of safeguards, and are too often left to their own ways. 
So their death is accepted as a daily event, and their 
friendless bodies sold for dissection to the medical schools. 

There remains the question of overwork and fatigue. 
Science is not everywhere alert in the United States; and 
the speed-up strains flesh and blood to the breaking-point 
and beyond. An inquiry into the Terra Cotta disaster 
on the Baltimore and Ohio line, near Washington, showed 
that the engine-driver had been on duty for forty hours 
out of forty-eight, with no chance of any rest. Moreover, 
the railroad time-sheets for the two previous months gave 
fourteen hours as the working day of six hundred train- 
crews. On the Southern Railway the President of the 
system lost his own life in an accident caused by a track- 
man who was too weary to flag the train. 

This phase of prosperity has long been a theme of the 
social reformer. "A perpetual war upon humanity," 
Theodore Roosevelt called it. As Chief Executive he had 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 123 

many a tilt against employers because of their callous 
view of all this murder and maiming. Roosevelt also 
brought it to the notice of Congress, pointing out that 
"in legislation and the use of safety devices we are far 
behind the European peoples." But for business reasons 
this was a ticklish target for the American crusader — 
unless he were a mechanical genius like Henry Ford of 
Detroit. 

It is the passion for results — a love of short-cuts and 
spectacular methods — which accounts in part for the cheap- 
ness of life and limb in America. Her greatest holiday — 
the Fourth of July — was, until recently, a lurid and death- 
ful orgy. Luckily it engaged at last the drastic attention 
of both State and Federal Governments. Before "a saner 
Fourth" was forced upon the nation, the day's fun cost 
the lives of fifty persons, besides injuring five thousand 
more, and inflicting anguish upon the sick in hospitals 
through the din of giant crackers, cannons, and revolvers. 
Many of the injured died later of blood-poisoning, lock- 
jaw, and burns. This strange sacrifice has been gradually 
reduced since 1899, when the Chicago T rib line first began 
to count the casualties of Independence Day. 

I am well aware that these things sound preposterous 
to the British reader, but my task is to present the facts 
and seal them with American testimony which there can 
be no gainsaying. I shall pass lightly over the death-roll 
of city streets, only remarking that in New York I rode 
in the car of a wealthy speedster, whose record is, I hope, 
unique. That car had already killed two men; it figured 
in thirteen accident cases, and had injured nine persons, 
of whom five would be crippled for life. 

Police Commissioner Woods looked for, at least, one 
death each day, and a case of injury every twenty-three 
minutes. Yet his traffic squads were picked men, each 
with special knowledge of his own zone. Block systems, 



124 AMERICA'S DAY 

new semaphores, and safety-isles are tried, so as to reduce 
the street accidents; but the traffic-courts of the city tell 
woeful tales of lawless men (and women, too) who never 
drove a car before, yet essay a 'prentice hand in the rush- 
hour at Forty-Second Street and Fifth Avenue ! 

European readers have a habit of dismissing queer or 
monstrous happenings in America as mere Yankee yarns. 
It is a mistaken frame of mind, an incredulity which is 
resented over there as conveying a superior pose de Kant 
en bas. What seems to us grotesque and strange is, to 
an American, the commonplace of his daily paper. This 
democracy claims extraordinary license, and chafes under 
the new discipline lately urged upon it by leading men. 
It is, indeed, a wayward people, following the feet of 
change and revelling in the polyphonic surf of novelty. 
Evasion of the law is a general symptom, coupled with 
irresponsibility and the pursuit of individual aims. And 
this entails calamity on a huge and frequent scale. Take 
the burning of the pleasure-steamer, General Slocitm, which 
sailed past the foot of the New York streets with a blazing 
holocaust of a thousand souls — surely the most dreadful 
sight which a great city ever witnessed. The inquest 
showed that ever} r known rule and regulation had been 
broken by the owners of the boat. And, to crown all, the 
life-belts were found loaded with metal in order "to give 
them the required -weight"! 

Then there was the defective steamer Eastland, which 
rolled over at her dock in the heart of Chicago for a 
horrified populace to see. "There is not now," was the 
official verdict on this disaster, "nor has there ever been, 
an inspection service of the Federal Government for judg- 
ing the stability of these boats." The result is that in 
the last ten years thirty-one vessels have been lost on the 
Great Lakes with every soul on board. A lawless spirit 
in "the man higher up"; indifference or ignorance among 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 125 

employes — these are contributing causes in a waste of life 
and limb which has no parallel elsewhere. 

The American worker of whatever grade is selected, 
trained, and improved in a strictly productive way. There 
are in the workshop taskmasters and efficiency engineers, 
just as there are soil and crop intensifiers sent round to 
the farms by the Department of Agriculture. The man 
laying bricks, or feeding a furnace with coal; the woman 
pasting labels on jars or cans — here is scope for highbrow 
aid and the psychological laboratory of the University. 
Or, again, here is a girl folding handkerchiefs. Somehow 
she falls slack in the early afternoon; her output is below 
that of her neighbours. Why is this? Here enters the 
expert — if necessary with a cinema camera whose film will 
reveal human frailty and fatigue in microscopic detail. 
The reason for fewer folded handkerchiefs is that old chair 
upon which the worker sits. It is too low, imposing extra 
strain upon the girl to maintain her hands at the proper 
level. Now enters the carpenter with four blocks for the 
chair-legs — and lo, the automaton's output reaches the nor- 
mal again and surpasses it. 

Or, again, here is a Detroit motor-shop where twenty- 
eight men assemble four thousand pistons a day, each man 
putting piston and rod together in three minutes. The 
operation is a simple one — incapable, one has said, of any 
further speed-up. Yet the analyst has his eye on it. A 
sleuth-hound of time is this omniscient plotter; he detects 
each flick of a finger which "does not pay," and forthwith 
enlists it for service. Those twenty-eight assemblers, it 
seems, spend four hours of their nine-hour day walking 
back and forth. They are now reshuffled. The task is still 
further subdivided; the result is that fourteen men are 
reported to the foreman as "free for other work." Such 
is the speed up, which has become an extraordinary mania 
in the United States — at any rate on the employer's side. 



126 AMERICA'S DAY 

Its ideal is to conciliate labour as it goes, selecting bosses 
who are born for control. ' ' Tact, ' ' says the staff pioneer of 
a big concern, "is the sweet oil of business. So keep your 
can full!" 

Many of the big concerns catch their employes very young 
and drill them with vocational insight. This is especially 
true of the electrical industry. The New York Edison 
Company is supposed to choose its youngsters "in the 
nursery." They are weighed in the balance of heredity 
and environment; they are appraised and educated, cred- 
ited or debited with plus or minus marks. 

Health and a good appearance are factors insisted on. 
So are perseverance and energy; the "Hold on" and "Try 
again," with all concentration, enthusiasm, observation, 
memory, understanding, and will. This strenuous gospel 
— this sleety faith and all its fruitful works — may be said 
to be the real religion of the United States. "There will 
soon be no more priests," Walt Whitman exulted. "Their 
work is done. A new order shall arise, and they shall be 
the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest. 
. . . They shall arise in America, and be responded to from 
the remainder of the earth." 

Here I am reminded that once, and once only, did Wall 
Street reach out to save souls, with Mr. James Cannon, the 
New York banker, as chief apostle. Five teams of well- 
drilled scouts were sent out in advance to attack the strong- 
holds of sin in the Eastern States, and that on highly 
original lines. Even that difficult man, the late Mr. Pier- 
pont Morgan, gave $5000 towards this novel mission, for 
he was impressed by maps and figures, and by a card- 
indexing of the redeemed which promised rich results. 
The manager of this campaign gave up a fine position in 
Detroit to act as the spearhead of assault ; and his action — 
paradoxical as it may seem — was characteristically Ameri- 
can. "We're going after souls," that zealot told me, "ex- 
actly as the Standard Oil goes after business. And we're 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 127 

backed by the best money and brains in America." But 
the Standard Oil success was not forthcoming when the 
first flush of novelty was gone. However, that soul-saving 
is possible "on business lines" has been demonstrated foi' 
years by the famous Billy Sunday, the ball-playing evan- 
gelist who must be a rich man now, with a fervid follow- 
ing which no orthodox preacher can ever hope to win. 

Mr. Sunday's methods are lurid beyond all American 
records, which is saying a good deal. "He has the bellow 
of Edwin Forrest," an admirer says: "the glare of Ed- 
mund Kean, and the flip modernity of George M. Cohan." 
Billy's manager will enter a great city and form a joint- 
stock company to guarantee expenses; these may reach 
$50,000. A board tabernacle seating 18,000 people is 
rigged up on a vacant lot, and then the show begins. 
Mother may take her baby and have the little one checked, 
just as father checks his hat and coat. There is no de- 
scribing the vast audience; it is simply America. Here 
are shop-girls, and members of the Hod-Carriers' Union. 
The rich man is in the front row ; so is the music-hall man- 
ager, who follows the uproarious scene with envy. "Billy 
Sunday's act is the greatest ever," he sighs, and tries to 
profit by it on the boards. 

As a pulpiteer the unreverend Billy Sunday is at once 
actor, acrobat, and mime. His hearers are in tears over 
the sob-story of booze, — when lo, the preacher convulses 
them with antic mirth ! He plays upon all the emotions. 
He sounds all the human stops with a power that must be 
seen to be believed; he uses the rich vocabulary of baseball 
and prize-ring. See him picturing the eternal war of the 
weak against the strong. "There's young David," he 
screams, "soakin' Goliath on the coco, clean between the 
lamps! Down goes the big stiff for the count. An' while 
the kid's choppin' off his block, the whole bunch behind 
the big feller skiddooes!" 



128 AMERICA'S DAY 

What milder pastors think of ' ' Sunday salvation ' ' makes 
very mixed reading. Billy had shattered Springfield, 111., 
when a university graduate reported upon the moral after- 
math of the orgy. "Our community seems disillusioned 
and burnt out. The sacred power of souls to respond "to 
the gentle voice of Christ has been strained and coerced 
by these high-pressure methods." 

Now for their cash returns. Concerning these the fa- 
mous evangelist is very frank. "Do as you want with 
your own money," he roars as the collection pans go round, 
with a Fitzsimmons reach. . . . "Give if you will. It's 
none o' my business what you do with your dough, an' 
none o ' yours what I do with mine ! ' ' Philadelphia 's dough 
came to $51,156 ; Pittsburg gave Mr. Sunday $44,000, Bos- 
ton beat them all — though Cardinal O'Connell warned his 
flock against Billy's bizarre performance. Here the col- 
lections totalled $90,436. 

These large offerings are chiefly from the masses, to 
whom closeness in money-matters is the meanest of traits. 
Thrift is today set before America's millions, and was none 
too welcome at first, even when masked as "efficiency" or 
"conservation." The wealthy were asked to set a more 
sober example ; the worker was besought to save his money 
so as "to prevent his wife going directly from his funeral 
to a job at the wash-tub." So keen are the employers of 
labour upon the workers' thrift that they go to extremes 
of paternalism and stir up wrath by welfare schemes of 
drastic range. 

Take the Educational Department of Henry Ford's plant 
in Detroit. "We estimate," an official said, "that sixty 
per cent, of the men can look after themselves. So we or- 
ganize to take care of the rest. ' ' The affluent workman is 
here required to conform to a higher standard of life. He 
must prove himself "clean, sober, industrious, and thrifty." 
"It is not wise," says the chief inquisitor, "for working 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 129 

men to spend money on things above their station." Em- 
ployes must bank their surplus money, and domiciliary 
visits are paid to see that this is done. Passbooks and 
private papers must be produced when the Ford Investi- 
gators call. No profit-sharer may take in lodgers; and 
should he settle in an evil neighbourhood, well-meaning 
despots transplant him and his into a sweeter quarter of 
the town. 

It would be absurd to suppose that this system was 
meekly accepted by tens of thousands of men: Ford him- 
self knows quite well that it is not. He would like to see 
all the guidance, the advice and oversight of private affairs 
made less minatory, more optional and free. As a "Socio- 
logical Department" the inquisition goaded the men to 
mutiny. It set up a rigid code of morals, it had spies all 
over Detroit reporting lapses; it took testimony from chil- 
dren against their fathers, and from wives against their 
husbands. Mr. Ford was grieved over this tyranny, and 
he checked and modified its scope. He does not believe in 
Labour Unions, by the way, "because they mean war." 
The equality of men he will grant you — as a theory with 
considerable hedging. "But power of all sorts," he says — 
"business, financial and political — seems to centre round 
the big fellow; it has always been so, and I guess it will 
always be." t 

Henry Ford plays the democrat out on his Dearborn 
farm. It is a mistake to suppose he is greatly loved, or 
that his social views have any influence upon the municipal 
government of Detroit. This is an extravagant town, and 
men of the right civic kind will not "play politics," having 
a more alluring game of their own in the gas-blasts and 
automatic conveyers of their miraculous shops. INo doubt 
Detroit is an exceptional instance of bossing and drilling 
the human machine; it is at once the most foreign of all, 
yet the most American of cities in spirit. Its population 



130 AMERICA'S DAY 

in 1900 was 285,000; today it has three-quarters of a 
million, and assimilates aliens in a magical way, chiefly 
through night schools, where Greek, Italian and Pole are 
tempted to learn English, and so "become a better citizen 
with a better job." 

Printed slips of advice on these lines are found in the 
worker's pay-envelope. The saloons are plastered with 
similar hints; the girl who borrows a book at the library 
finds promptings on the first page. Preachers and editors, 
gangsters and ward leaders, all lend their aid to break up 
foreign ignorance and blot out hyphenism of all shades. 
The big motor shops put premiums upon adult education ; 
some offer an extra two cents an hour to Italians, Hun- 
garians and Poles who are learning English. Their teach- 
ers are themselves taught by experts in immigrant edu- 
cation, like Mr. II. H. Wheaton and Dr. Peter Roberts. 

Here we see the "progressive action" which President 
Wilson sets before American employers. He would like to 
have an end made of anarchy-breeding inequalities, which 
are still so glaring a feature of the great Republic. The 
President also hoped that mutuality of interests will hence- 
forth receive support — "and that men of affairs will lend 
themselves to the task of making democracy a more effec- 
tive instrument of human welfare. It cannot be said that 
they have done this in the past." Here is a thrust which 
goes to the root of civic and social ills. Hitherto the ablest 
and most fearless of men — men of great wealth and moral 
strength — have not been willing to serve the community in 
public positions. The word politics conveyed a taint of 
trickery and graft. Then the newspapers were also feared. 
The result was that State and civic government passed to 
professional cliques of the Tammany type, intent only upon 
power and loot. 

"Real remedies," as Dr. Wilson points out, "wait upon 
the development of a more honest and more discriminating 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 131 

public opinion." That big business is giving a good lead 
to the smaller concerns in the treatment of Labour is now 
undeniable. A notable instance of welfare-work was the 
laying out of the industrial city of Gary by the Steel Trust. 
This model town of 100,000 souls was designed and built 
as one builds a country house, amid the sand and scrub 
of the southern end of Lake Michigan. There were two 
square miles of furnaces, foundries, and mills; four square 
miles of tree-shaded streets, with parks, playgrounds, and 
dwellings of many grades, each one perfect of its kind. 

The Grand Calumet River was turned from its course; 
all that science could suggest was here carried out to show 
what American capital could do for its labouring men. 
Industrial strife, it was hoped, would never mar the idyllic 
life of Gary. Here the skilled hand could earn high wages 
and rear a family, at the same time putting by a compe- 
tence and enjoying life in the true American way. Squalor, 
poverty, and vice — these were to have no part in the 
Utopian city, with its fine boulevards and concert-halls; 
its libraries, museums, and gymnasiums. All sewers, con- 
duits, and pipes were laid in thirty-foot alleys behind the 
town blocks, so as to avoid the noise and dirt attendant 
upon the tearing up the streets. 

As for the minimum wage, this is now assured in ten 
States, and others will presently follow — though the Ameri- 
can Federation of Labour opposes the idea, chiefly on be- 
half of the working women. President Gompers cham- 
pioned the cause of these before the Industrial Relations 
Commission. "I am very suspicious," said America's la- 
bour lord, "when I see Government agencies busy in this 
way." His reasoning is too long and complex to set out 
here, but undoubtedly there is confusion and evasion 
through the conflict of laws in the various States. Thus 
labour boycotts are forbidden in Alabama and Colorado — 
where a Federal Statute declares them perfectly legal. 



132 AMERICA'S DAY 

There are laws against blacklisting in twenty-six States. 
Others have special rules against intimidation, or against 
conspiracy, or harsh conditions of employment like the 
barring of a worker from his trade union. This lack of 
uniformity hampers progress in unexpected ways. 

The case for an eight-hour working day has established 
itself after five and twenty years of agitation. It was 
recently set before the Supreme Court in a brief of a 
thousand pages intended to uphold the legality of the 
Oregon Law. Tired workers and their diminished output 
were here represented, whether in a candy store or in the 
bituminous mines of Illinois. Shorter hours were elo- 
quently urged upon a democracy that sets great store by 
the intelligence of its citizens. How shall a man vote wisely 
if he has no time for reading, or for study of the topics 
of the day? Of what use are night schools to the worker 
who comes home dog-tired after a complete round of the 
factory clock? 

Long hours led to poor health, and symptoms of strain 
due to industrial speed and drear monotony. Cumulative 
fatigue was set up and to this were traced the serious acci- 
dents which figured so luridly in statistical tables. A 
shorter day, it was claimed, increased the quality as well as 
the quantity of work. It also promoted temperance; it 
encouraged education and the general uplift which Amer- 
ica is for ever preaching. 

The rank and file of workers are now shown the way to 
betterment ; the biggest prizes of all are offered to intellects 
of devoted training, however lowly in station and poor in 
this world's goods. "There's not a man in power at our 
Bethlehem Works," Mr. Schwab declared, "who didn't be- 
gin at the bottom and work his way up. Eight years ago 
Eugene Grace was switching engines. But he out-thought 
his job, and that, as well as integrity, lifted him to the 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 133 

head of our corporation. Last year Mr. Grace earned over 
a million dollars." 

The smaller concerns follow this lead, and seek to kindle 
in their staff a goodwill and interest which never existed 
before. "Let's put up a Suggestion-box," a certan partner 
proposed. For some weeks it was a nest of complaints and 
vile abuse — of course with no signature. "They've got a 
grouch," said the smiling deviser of the plan. "Now 
they're working it off. But we'll get some notions pres- 
ently." And so they did. An idea of great value was one 
day found among the mixed contributions, and a cheque 
for $1500 was quietly handed to the man as he worked at 
his bench. He was of course astounded. Two years' wages 
for a few lines on a scrap of soiled paper! The news 
spread like fire. A second man soon waved a $500 cheque ; 
a third had $1000 to show, and was proud beyond any money 
at this tribute to his wit in the utilizing of waste products. 

Yet, in spite of this movement, America remains the land 
of giant strikes fought out with firearms and dynamite. 
How is this to be explained? Perhaps by the inequality 
of distribution which here presents quite monstrous con- 
trasts. Mr. Rockefeller is reported to be a "billionaire." 
Certainly the man's riches are beyond any dream. Against 
him and his may be set the "poor whites" of Kentucky and 
Tennessee, a folk who live as illiterate savages in a bleak 
and dismal squalor passing all belief — even the belief of 
most Americans. It is the record of the Standard Oil 
and other Trusts which have set up those "antagonisms of 
industry" which President Wilson deplores. 

"We find," says the Preamble of the Industrial Workers 
of the World — a Labour body of seventy thousand members 
— "that the centring of ihe management of industry into 
fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to 
cope with the ever-growing power of the employing class." 



134 AMERICA'S DAY 

That labour laws are nullified is beyond doubt ; the 
sovereignty of States and the powerlessness of the Federal 
authority are great temptations to the unscrupulous in 
this direction. "You must watch them!'' cried little 
Sarah Shapiro to the Women's Trade Union League of 
New York. Sarah was a garment-worker over on the 
East Side, and could read the greedy emploj-er like a book. 
"I shall take you to our factory after hours, when the doors 
are locked and all the windows darkened. Yet inside are 
the girls and children — working, working, working!" 

The Federal Government prohibited from Interstate 
Commerce the products of all mines, factories, and mills 
employing child labour. But there are still two million 
working children not protected by this Act. The Southern 
Senators opposed its passage in Congress as likely to clash 
with existing local laws. Mr. Tillman, of South Carolina, 
found the Child Labour Bill not only unconstitutional, but 
also an infringement of States' Rights. New Mexico, 
North Carolina, and Wyoming have no child-labour laws 
at all. And nowhere does the Federal Act apply to farm- 
work. On the whole, there is ample ground for Labour's 
cynical attitude in the face of princely gifts from million- 
aire employers. I was astonished at the spirit in which 
these benefactions were received. "He'd steal the cow," 
said a superintendent grimly of a very great man indeed, 
"and give away the horns for the love o' God!" 

At the best time of the year there are 7,000,000 wage- 
earners in the factories, at the worst time only 4,500,000. 
Therefore, according to the Census of Manufactures, there 
is a regular human "slack" of 2,500,000 workers. The 
number of men who lose four months or more out of the 
year totals 3,300,000. Now, to regularize this drifting 
labour baffles all investigation, so immense is the area to be 
covered. Subway construction may be finished in New 
York, whilst California figs and oranges are waiting to be 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 135 

picked. But the distance between these two points equals 
a journey from the Old World to the New 

There are fine chances for the small cultivator in the 
Yazoo Valley of Mississippi ; the flour mills of Minnea- 
polis send out hurry calls for hands. But it is nobody's 
business to handle the floating forces of labour and distri- 
bute them in strategic and seasonal areas of the continent. 
American prosperity is, therefore, an elusive condition. No 
man lives who will guarantee it for two successive years. 
Desolation dawned with 1915 — only to melt into the pro- 
digal riot of 1916. Bubble finance and frenzy were ram- 
pant in the cities; the farmer was rolling in money with 
his cotton at twenty cents instead of ten, his wheat at 
two dollars a bushel instead of ninety cents. It is perhaps 
this uncertainty which fosters in the United States a 
gambling spirit which I have not seen equalled in any land. 

"We are a composite and cosmopolitan people," Presi- 
dent Wilson owned in his Inaugural Address to Congress. 
"We are the brood of all the nations now at war." A note 
of regret runs through this grave message, because counsel 
and action had been turned from "the great problems of 
domestic legislation" to "other matters lying outside our 
own life as a nation." America had no control over those 
gusts, "which have shaken men everywhere with passion 
and apprehension." It was a disappointment to Dr. Wilson 
who had set his heart upon the unity of the nation and 
internal reforms of crying need. "We have sought very 
thoughtfully ... to correct the grosser errors and abuses 
of our industrial life, to liberate and quicken the processes 
of national genius and energy, and to lift politics to a 
broader view of the people's essential interests." 

When all has been said about welfare schemes we still 
have to consider the armed guards and strike-breakers 
whose work it is to crush uprisings and disrupt the in- 
dustrial Unions. Now this strike-breaking and gunning 



136 AMERICA'S DAY 

is an ugly symptom of that cleavage which the President 
deplores. A Labour Board may be in full session over a 
dispute, but both sides will take no chances. The em- 
ployers order out their secret armies, with weapons and 
without ; the Unions have trained corps watching the pro- 
fessionals who would force the open shop upon them." A 
typical strike-breaker was the late James Farley, of Phila- 
delphia, who was a rich man with a blood-stock farm at 
Plattsburg, N. Y., and a cheque which Wall Street would 
at any time honour for $100,000. Mr. August Belmont 
used to say that Farley was "a born soldier." Certainly 
he gloried in the fight ; he was shot at five and twenty times, 
and received over five thousand threatening letters in a 
year. Railroads, street car corporations, mines, machine- 
shops, and factories all employ men like Farley and Harry 
Bowen — who took out a special policy upon his own life 
for $100,000. Strike-breaking bosses are on the pay-rolls 
in peace time ; and as the first murmurs arise, secret agents 
scatter among the men to ascertain their case and their 
financial strength. Meanwhile the "breakers" are enlisted. 
In a New York subway tie-up Farley was paid $5 a day for 
each man, and $1000 a day for himself as field-marshal of 
the strike army. It was a task of deadly peril, but Farley 
cleared $130,000 in this one campaign. 

Today the strike-breaker has a gentler name. Mr. James 
A. Waddell is an "expert in emergency employment." 
This general has an armory of 1100 rifles in New York 
City, as well as barracks where guards are drilled and 
maintained. When a railway tie-up was in the air, Mr. 
Waddell mobilized in Chicago 13,000 trainmen and engine- 
drivers. For this force he drew the great sum of $65,000 
a day, plus ten per cent, commission on the commissariat. 
How large a matter this may be is seen in a thirteen-day 
strike which called for $168,000 worth of provisions. In 
many cases, the Labour Union is beaten, the strike called 



THE MILITARISM OF MONEY 137 

off, and mortified men ordered back to work on their em- 
ployers' terms. 

It is against militarism of this kind that President 
Wilson has set his face. "Our industries," he declared, 
"have been under the control of too small a body of men. 
Business ought to be democratized, and made to see that 
aristocracy is bad for it, just as it is for governments." 



CHAPTER IX 

ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 

". . . Men can assist Fortune, but they cannot resist her; they 
may weave her webs, but they cannot break them." — Machiavelli. 

I know no stranger institution than the Lincoln Memorial 
College down at Cumberland Gap, in the lonely Appala- 
chians. Here is a forlorn region of rugged spaces and 
wretched farms, which a negro would despise ; of one-room 
huts where illiterate women spin, or barter hog-meat and 
feathers. Vendettas and feuds are the only break in a life 
of complete stagnation. There are no waterways in this 
mountain land, the railways have been careful to avoid it. 
Yet in these hills dwell Americans of the purest breed 
descended from pre-Revolution pioneers; a real peasantry, 
vaguely known to the outside world as the "poor whites" of 
Kentucky and Tennessee. They are unobtrusive, however. 
The poor whites are lost Americans ; clannish and resigned, 
given over to tribal wars and a diet of " 'possum and pea- 
nuts, with occasional nips from a moonlight still." 

From this unlikely stock have come some of America's 
greatest men. The greatest of all was Abraham Lincoln, 
who as a boy crouched at a "poor white's" hearth, and by 
the light of a blazing pine-knot pored upon the Six Books 
of his salvation. 

"When greatness came to the hero, he never forgot those 
days, nor the bleak abandonment of that life. The poor 
whites had no chance, so Lincoln asked his friend, Oliver 
Howard, to help, and in this way the University for Lost 
Americans was born. It has a farm of six hundred acres. 
All the practical trades of men are here taught, all the 

138 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 139 

useful chores which a woman should know both in the home 
aud out of doors. Students at this College leave the plough- 
tail, the cow-byre, kitchen, and sty to take their final degree, 
then they walk home — fifty miles or more — to spread the 
new light in a darkness which is generations old. 

It is not so long since Dr. Wilson took over the Lincoln 
hut at Hodgenville, Ky. ; it is now a national memorial, 
enclosed in a granite temple. That occasion was pecul- 
iarly solemn. The speaker's fervour; the surroundings 
and historic associations all combined with the war-cloud to 
produce a deep impression. Gradually the speech veered 
to the novel demands and duties of today. "Democracy 
will be great," the President said, "and will lift a light for 
the nations only if we ourselves are great, and carry the 
lamp high for the guidance of our own feet. We shall 
not be worthy unless we be in deed and in truth real 
democrats and servants of mankind, ready to give our very 
lives for freedom and justice." The speaker has often 
shown himself alive to the limitations of the older Ameri- 
canism, and he now appealed for a larger patriotism on 
the lines laid down by Aristotle: "The salvation of the 
State is the business of all its citizens." 

Let me consider in passing the Americanism of yester- 
year which rested on individualism and the square deal for 
all. It is best defined by the foremost of the intellectuals 
— Dr. Charles W. Eliot, who for a generation headed 
the academic world as President of Harvard University. 
"Americans desire for each citizen," Dr. Eliot says — "what- 
ever his birth or station — adequate opportunity to develop 
the best there is in him, and to win a social position con- 
sonant with his capacities and character, both innate and 
acquired. They are quite aware that men are not born 
equal in these respects; . . . but Americans insist upon 
the chance to rise and to do the uttermost. Moreover, they 
long for a mobile and. fluent community, in which men and 



140 AMERICA'S DAY 

women climb or fall quickly — as it were automatically — in 
accordance with their dower, whether this be strong or 
weak, virtuous or vicious. They have no objection to 
genuine leadership in politics or business — or even to dis- 
tinctions of birth, provided that leadership is based upon 
superior mental and moral powers, and that birth means 
inherited force or transmitted culture. And Americans 
believe that society should give or maintain no privilege, 
save that which is founded upon capacit}' and achievement." 
This need now merges in new national consciousness, be- 
gotten by the war. "What Emerson called "the sluggard 
intellect of this continent" is at last astir, and prepares 
to meet "the postponed expectation of the world with 
something better than the exertions of mechanical skill." 

It is true that America has perplexity to face when we 
haul home the guns and open bloodless fire upon her and 
one another in the economic field, which is to say the whole 
earth. "Make no mistake about Britain," New York is 
warned by skilled observers, who went round our "shops" 
after a visit to the red litter and black cities of Northern 
France. "You wouldn't know her now. Britain is a new 
commercial and manufacturing Power — alive, alert, and 
plainly bent on conquest. When the crazy fight is over, 
Old England will have what she never had before — a race of 
business-breeders of the scientific sort. Such labour-saving 
machines as they have now! Such fresh ideas too, and 
enterprise that's postitively explosive! For the first time 
you meet high-brow professors in the factory; physicists, 
specialists, inventors concerned with Death today, but 
tomorrow with dyes, or drugs, or dolls. 

"So prepare for economic war after the War. Are you 
ready for the coming tussle in Central and South America? 
Have you a clear-cut-policy for Far Eastern trade ? Or was 
Prosperity just a pipe-dream of the war — one that vanished 
with the smoke of it, leaving Uncle Sam to bleat and trail 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 141 

blindly behind the band-wagon, like a brindle ealf behind 
a Kansan hay-cart?" Such fears as these have a certain 
following, but President Wilson takes a different view. 
"Even when peace conies," he said, "what instant rivalry is 
to be feared? Already the killed, wounded, and missing 
reach a staggering total. The reconstruction of industry 
and commerce is bound to be attended with confusion and 
delay. It stands to reason that the first task will be along 
the lines of repair, to make good, the wastage and havoc of 
war. Then prodigious debts will burden the belligerents. 
And, aside from interest on money borrowed, each Govern- 
ment will have to care for millions of cripples, widows, 
and orphans." There was no reason, therefore, to fear a 
surcease of America's prosperity. "Not only is there the 
part we shall be called upon to play in the rebuilding of 
shattered Europe, but the great markets of Latin-America 
and the Orient are also calling." And to hasten develop- 
ments, the Ship Purchase Act was devised, and plans laid 
before Congress to assist American trade. 

Here we have the President in practical vein, narrowing 
his vision to the material needs of the hour and trying to 
lay the ghost of business blues that stalks at every Ameri- 
can feast. It is certain that the war-boom was no time for 
Quixotic strokes on the part of "those who love liberty, 
justice, and right exalted." For no era had seen the Get- 
rich-quick craze so reckless and wide. It threw into the 
shade the mania for speculation which began in 1899 and 
died down in 1907. Hundreds of new millionaires were 
made in 1916. The cities were bulging with riches that 
ached to be spent. Small farmers up in Maine (to their own 
amazement) found themselves "potato princes," with their 
land rich as Nevada patches where high-grade ore may 
begin at the grass-roots. 

Now was the heyday of wild-cat stocks and fly-by-night 
"syndicates for undisclosed purposes." The promoters of 



142 AMERICA'S DAY 

these withheld the very nature of their venture, and on that 
account reaped the larger harvest. Even shrewd financiers 
were badly ' ' whip-sawed ' ' — to use a Wall Street word — and 
wrote off serious losses in the spirit of the man who sent off 
a quarter for a "fine steel engraving of George Washing- 
ton," and received in exchange a penny stamp bearing the 
hero's head! Why is it that Americans are so gullible? 
Why is the craze for short cuts so common a maul to men 
who aspire to be rich without any effort ? Because the short 
cut is possible in this land of unique resources and spec- 
tacular coups. Nowhere in the world are the ups and 
downs of fortune so dramatic and swift as here. Consider 
Dan Sully, the bull operator in cotton, who bossed the 
markets of New York and New Orleans. He made millions 
a day — for exactly one week. Then the price broke, and 
Dan was forced to the wall with debts of $10,000,000. 

Was he downcast at all? Emphatically no. Trade was 
fairly singing, and the defeated Cotton King sang with 
it from disappointed depths. He would "come back," as 
they say of the beaten pugilist. "Life springs anew," 
mused Dan sententiously, "from the grave of lost wealth. 
I'm down, but not out. I'll spring up again at the gong 
with a new gait, and then you'll see things leap where now 
they crawl ! " It is the American spirit that bubbles here. 
Whatever is sent these men "receive in buxomnesse," in the 
old Chaucerian spirit. They let hazard reign, retaining 
their composure and the mens acqua amid stormy bliss that 
changeth as the moon. 

James R. Keene won and lost his all in plunging style — 
not once, but half a dozen times. The Pacific Coast grew 
too small for Keene 's operations; he must needs sell out 
and go East to lock horns with Jay Gould in the Wall Street 
arena where giants are for ever vying like the Broadway 
skyscrapers. 

Wary and grim, the Railway King made ready for the 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 143 

onset. "I hear Keene 's coming East in a parlour-car full of 
money. Well, I'll send him West in a freight-car when the 
light is over." The invader did have a bad time at first. 
He tried to corner the wheat market, and Gould squeezed 
him badly. Then Keene tackled Russell Sage, but his foes 
joined forces, inflicting a loss of $8,000,000 in a war of sixty 
days. But plume-plucked Richard came back in the grand 
manner. James Keene paid all his debts ; then he began 
to juggle with sugar, tobacco, and railway stocks till his 
cheque was once more good for $30,000,000. 

There was also "Bet-You-a-Million" Gates, a tragi-comic 
figure of the old school, now passed from the hectic scene. 
John W. Gates was a rugged fellow, a man of muzzle- 
loading maledictions whom Pierpont Morgan loathed. 
John had a grudge against the great financier, who denied 
him a seat on the board of the Steel Trust as a crude, in- 
decorous person. Gates brooded upon this, and took his 
revenge by buying the Louisville and Nashville Railroad 
overnight from the Belmont family, afterwards forcing 
Morgan to take it off his hands at a profit of $7,500,000. In 
1902, a whole cohort of these ''Kings" came out of the West, 
scenting battle and power in Wall Street. There were Tin- 
Plate Kings, and Kings of Wire and Sheet-Steel; others 
again had kingship thrust upon them either by the Mc- 
Kinley Tariff, or the accident of cheap fuel on the Ap- 
palachian plateau. 

But men travel by night, as the Moslems say, and 
Destiny travels towards them. Playing with our daily 
bread in the frenzied wheat-pit of Chicago, James Patten 
cleared $750,000 in a few hours. Joe Leiter's corner is an 
historic event, so is the railroad duel between Edward 
Harriman and James Hill. This was the strategy which 
allured America, though her leaders urged upon her the 
"competition of virtues" which Burke declared to be the 
only profit of war. In this land a penniless man may, by a 



144 AMERICA'S DAY 

clever stroke, make himself master of the game. A striking 
instance of this was the famous ' ' postage-stamp bid ' ' which 
Abe White of Texas made for Grover Cleveland's bonds in 
the panicky days of '96. The President appealed for gold 
to replenish the Treasury reserve, and a great idea flushed 
the red-haired lad from far-off Corsicana. 

"White was without a dollar in the world; yet behold 
him nosing in and out of Wall Street offices to estimate 
likely tenders for the emergency bonds. I ought to say 
that Secretary Carlisle exacted no deposit from patriots 
on this occasion. Young Abe, with characteristic daring, 
filled up a string of bids totalling $7,000,000, and sunt them 
off to Washington by registered mail at the cost of 1.11. 
When the allotments were out, a sum of $1,500,000 stood in 
the unknown name of Abraham White of New York. The 
issue was a great success. Government credit rose, and 
the bonds were listed at a premium. But how was Abe to 
find this huge sum, with no more assets than a sure financial 
flair, and that felicitas for which the Romans looked in the 
genius of their generals? Mr. White took his allotment 
down to Russell Sage, and begged for a boost with a suasive 
tongue and argument there was no gainsaying. 

The railroad giant was delighted to help. It was, of 
course, a gilt-edged deal ; and as he listened, Sage recalled 
his own dim days as errand-boy in a grocer's shop up-state. 
He financed Abe's bid, and the resulting clean-up gave the 
Texan a handsome start. He had luck, and the multitude 
followed him for a time. 

It is no use pretending that careers like White's have no 
influence upon the masses. "Abe can fly without feathers," 
his publicity agent said. "He'll run a shoe-string into a 
fortune. Look at his Bonanza Gold!" America looked 
very hard indeed at this ugly venture. To give Abe his 
due, he returned all moneys when nothing but "frost" was 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 145 

found in those shining sands and veined rocks, which were 
presently to dazzle the speculators. 

It is of course a pity that wild-cat stocks are advertised 
at all — especially with such decoys as the Mohawk Mine in 
Goldfield, Nev. There was a time when Mohawk Mine was 
quoted at ten cents a share on the New York Curb Market. 
It soared to $20 when the ore in sight was paying $1,000,000 
a month. Here, then, was a spring-board for the wild-cats 
in 1916. They appeared in all the cities with Denver, Col., 
as the fiercest of them all. For the Mohawk was a great 
name. There was the Red Top, too, that hopped from 
eight cents to five dollars. There was Great Bend and Sil- 
ver Pick; Four Aces, Jumping Jack, and the Stray Dog. 
America rose at them all as a pike will rise at a spinning- 
bait. In boom-towns of the Sierras publicity-men were 
writing "human interest stories" of sudden wealth. Here, 
for example, is a mysterious waster who sold his little claim 
for six figures and lost all in Larry Sullivan's saloon. This 
prospector owed his laundress $40; he paid the poor soul 
with a bunch of worthless paper which she jammed into a 
cigar-box among candle-ends and scraps of string. A few 
weeks later they were dug out as ten thousand dollars' 
worth of property. 

These were everyday events, and not concocted stories. 
One advertising agency spent $1,000,000 in newspaper ad- 
vertising. Companies were floated in thousands, but not 
one of them made good. And some idea of the speculative 
spirit can be formed from that fact that this one boom 
inflicted a loss of $200,000,000 on the credulous American 
public. That Nevada rush had all the features of old-time 
Western life, and boomers made the most of it in a liter- 
ary way. There were desert tents with snowy ranges in 
the background. Here was the tin bank with gay ruffians 
cashing in on the strength of sensational daily strikes. 



146 AMERICA'S DAY 

Great sums were lost and won in the gaming-joints, where 
faro and roulette went on all through the drunken night. 
Bad men held up the mule-teams, and stole ore that showed 
"four noughts to the ton." 

Pneumonia and poor food filled a God-forsaken ceme- 
tery ; some of the camps were thirty miles from any water, 
and over a hundred from the railway. No timber was 
available for the mines. To crown all, there was no per- 
manency in the patchy ores, and the boom collapsed at 
last in dismay and general wrath. 

At every turn Americans are tempted by the science of 
investment, which Russell Sage used to say was "the most 
profound and complicated of them all." To make money 
quickly is an American obsession ; one turned to rich 
account by swarms of sharks whose array of argument and 
appeal must rouse the student's admiration. Here again 
State barriers and conflicting laws intervene to snatch a 
rascal from the ball and chain of felony. The cheats had 
an unexampled harvest in the flush time of 1916-17. But 
there were fashions in the crooked game. Thus the old 
bucket-shop disappeared ; it was killed by crusaders of 
the Stock Exchange and the Board of Trade. Another 
factor was the refusal of service by the telegraph and 
telephone companies. Bonanzas in cotton, and land- 
irrigation schemes; fake insurance and the bold "syndicate 
of secret process" — these also were missing. But the oil- 
well and the mine are perennial lures, tricked out with 
allusion to Rockefeller and Senator Clark, the Montana 
copper-king and patron of art, whose Fifth Avenue man- 
sion so bristled with bronze that he set up a foundry of 
his own in West Sixteenth Street. 

The motor-boom bred hundreds of fly-by-night con- 
cerns, run by veterans from the backyards of finance — 
often from the State gaols. One of these sharks, with 
handsome offices in eight cities, was recently raided by the 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 147 

Federal Government for using the mails with intent to 
defraud. In ten months he had wrung over five million 
dollars from every known class. His literature bore the 
stamp of genius; his free book — The Open Gate — would 
have opened the purse of Hetty Green herself. 

In another brochure, a handsome lad was seen haunted 
and dunned by outstretched hands — crude hands of trades- 
men, dainty palms of women, expressive enough, but im- 
perious or full of greed. "Where's the Money Coming 
From?" was the arrestive legend. "There's more due to 
you out of Life," the harassed one was told. "Get it — 
Get the Money, the repose and success which you ought to 
have." 

This is a diverting subject. You may follow it through 
the bronze doors of the Stock Exchange in Broad Street, 
a place of clanging confusion and maniac cries. Member- 
ship here is so sought after, that $75,000 has been paid for 
a seat. I shall not follow the financial brain-storms of this 
money-mart, nor the records of panic and boom, with at- 
tendant scenes of ridiculous frenzy. However, the most 
recent deserves passing mention, for it preceded the famous 
Peace Note of President Wilson and quite demoralized 
the Exchange. 

People who were rich on paper only — plungers in "war- 
brides" and munition stocks — saw their profit vanish as 
they stared; all manner of people, from the scrub-lady 
of the Ritz-Carlton to ranchers of the Western plains. 
"Funny thing," remarked the moralist of the coloured 
supplement, "but the moment the millennium bobs up — 
bang goes the bottom out of our stocks!" 

I shall not dwell upon the scenes of the Curb Market at 
Wall and Broad Streets; they would read like a visit to 
Bedlam — though the annual business done in this roped 
enclosure exceeds a hundred million dollars. "The Curb" 
is a fantastic pandemonium of hardy stalwarts, whose garb 



148 AMERICA'S DAY 

varies with the season. For this arena is no place for 
invalids. Heavy rains find the brokers in sou 'westers, oil- 
skins, and rubber boots. An August heat-wave brings them 
out in shirt-waist garb; and in the zero blizzard a chorus 
in Arctic furs serenades the luxurious towers all round 
with, "In the Good Old Summer Time !" 

Communication between the offices and these men is 
very queer to watch. Excited figures lean from the sky- 
scrapers and shower pellets of paper, or even weighted 
notes, which sportsmen below catch before any one is hurt 
or killed by them. There are secret codes of gesticulation 
with the swift commerce of deaf-mutes. In all this mad- 
ness, however, is money method on sound lines; and the 
Dean of the Curb presides with eloquent fingers and a 
megaphone of heaven 's own reach. 

The dollar-hunt has lost some of its zest now that "big" 
Americans have left it and given themselves to that public 
service for which President "Wilson has so often appealed. 
Already there are signs of change, though they are not demo- 
cratic signs. Afar off in California a thinker like Professor 
Ide Wheeler, of the State University, regrets the grouping 
of new "castes" and classes. At the other side of the 
continent a typical magnate like Charles M. Schwab would 
like to see an American "aristocracy": "The men who 
have succeeded — who have helped to build up the country, 
and now contribute to the efficiency and well-being of 
their fellows." There is less blatant vying of late years 
among the "cottagers" of Newport and Lenox. Mere dis- 
play in the House of Have is voted vulgar now, whether in 
yachts or racehorses, or lavish entertainments with details 
priced for the reporters — the frocks and jewels, the flowers 
and food and wines, even the massed money represented 
round the festal board in the persons of famous men. 

One is surprised to pick up in salons of the great a sort 
of American peerage, with pedigree tables set out with 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 149 

regal circumstance, beginning with the Astors and the Van- 
derbilts. There follow the Goulds and Rockefellers, the 
Morgans, Mackays, Havemeyers, Fields, Lorillards, Ar- 
mours, Harrimans, Du Ponts, Belmonts, Whitneys, Leiters, 
and Goelets. Mrs. Astor queened it in her day, calling the 
famous Four Hundred from the social mass as the cream 
of America's money-power. Mr. George W. Perkins set 
an example of civic spirit; the late Mr. Pierpont Morgan 
spent nearly forty million dollars in looting Europe of its 
art treasures for the enrichment of the United States. And 
in a later day we find Mr. Benjamin Altman, the Fifth 
Avenue draper, bidding seventy thousand dollars at 
Christie's for a Hoppner portrait of the Lady Louisa Man- 
ners. 

The Rembrandts of Havemeyer, the Sugar King, are the 
envy of connoisseurs. So are the Pompeian bronzes which 
Mr. John Wanamaker gave to the University of Pennsyl- 
vania. For the portrait of Pietro Aretino by Titian, Mr. 
H. C. Frick paid $100,000. Well may the Old World fear 
the American millionaire, when he seeks such treasures with 
the best advice in Paris and London to guide saleroom bids 
which are not to be denied. Italy had to pass special laws 
to prevent her noble but faded families from parting with 
heirlooms and works of art. Mr. Pierpont Morgan restored 
to the cathedral of Ascoli its famous Cope, because he found 
it had been stolen for sale to the "mad American" who was 
in Rome with millions of lire to fling away for such things. 
When the harassed banker returned to the Grand Hotel, 
he found six thousand letters from people offering treasures 
of all sorts, from a Cellini dish to a Delia Robbia plaque 
built into ancestral walls. 

This is an acquired taste in America, yet the rough 
diamond seeks it — the social climber and men of mushroom 
wealth who follow a leader with blind faith, and pay great 
prices for unblushing fakes. 



150 AMERICA'S DAY 

No collector can escape these things : witness the Moabite 
pottery which the faker, Shapira, foisted upon the German 
Emperor. But no nation in the world buys bogus works 
of art on the American scale. The subject has long de- 
lighted the comic artists of New York, who pictured the 
"well-upholstered plute" in his marble gallery on Madison 
Avenue, staring at a Cinquecento pax or a monstrous god- 
dess "by Rubens" . . . "Why had the Old Masters no 
pretty girls among their acquaintance?" Yet there is hope 
for the plute who feels the bleakness of money, and regrets 
a life in which "Red-lined accounts were richer than the 
songs of Grecian years." There are many such converts 
in the United States today, where divine things are not 
held lightly, despite all appearance to the contrary. 

Many of these money -kings have had none but the "fe- 
rocious education" which Louis Philippe bewailed, with 
physical torment too, a hard bed and never-ending battle 
with toilsome tasks. The city child thinks in terms of 
money, turning his spare time into dollars with precocious 
Hair. It is the money standard which faces the home* 
seeker in the wilds when he presents his entry-claim at the 
Federal Land Office — say, in the rolling foothills of the 
Flathead Indian Reservation, which was opened to white 
settlers in 1910. Here is cut-over land disfigured with 
tree-stumps which' must be blasted out with a low-freezing 
explosive in cold or wet weather. "The ground covered 
by a single stump," the State mentor tells the pioneer, 
"will grow from twenty-five to fifty cents' worth of food in 
a year. You may take it that an acre of a hundred stumps 
will produce $50 worth of a crop after clearing. So why 
leave these dollars under the stumps? Why pay taxes 
upon stump-land when the whole world cries out for Amer- 
ican farm-stuff?" 

So the speed-up is introduced to this jungle of yesterday. 
Mother Earth must now produce; she is encouraged and 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 151 

bribed and trained, her output watched and methods im- 
proved precisely as with the human element in Detroit 
shops. Most of the States send country advisers round 
on regular tours of counsel and inspection. These men 
are local Ministers of Agriculture, with social and uplift 
missions as a sympathetic side-line. The farm expert 
may make three hundred calls in a summer. He draws 
maps of the fields, showing drainage, fertility, and fitness 
for this crop or that. In passing he notes the barns and 
houses; the village school, the social and economic con- 
ditions of the community. Then he meets the folks at a 
peach and oyster supper, and in a hearty talk impresses all 
with cheery science and assurance of bumper yields — if 
his guidance be followed intelligently. 

In this way pioneers are taught to know soil-types at 
sight, as well as insect pests and remedies for their ex- 
termination. Men learn how to test seeds and rotate the 
crops; also the value of rock phosphate and limestone. 
Social intercourse, promoted by that visiting genius from 
the world beyond, develops a spirit of co-operation in buy- 
ing and selling to the advantage of all. Yet these rural 
sections need more than money, as Mr. Carl Vrooman testi- 
fies; he is Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in Washing- 
ton. "I know farmers," Mr. Vrooman says, "who have 
broad fields, great herds, huge barns, and long bank ac- 
counts, yet their success ends abruptly there. They live 
dull, narrow, purposeless lives, devoid of all aspiration, 
happiness, or public spirit. The wealth of such men is 
like much of the fertility in our soil ; it is not available. 
These farmers need instruction in the art of living just as 
their less skilful neighbours do in the art of growing and 
marketing their crops. For, after all, it is only the wealth 
we dominate and dedicate to some fine purpose that we can 
be said actually to possess." 

What I may call the new America has no quarrel with 



152 AMERICA'S DAY 

money-making, but does seek to endue it with high vision 
and aims. Yet Success remains an absorbing game in the 
United States ; its votary is too often a hermit plotter, ' ' as 
unsocial as a wolf taken from the troop," as Byron said of 
himself. This quest of profit is a peculiar peonage. It 
begins in childhood ; it matures in the hard man of tabloid 
speech, whose real confidant is the cylinder of an office 
dictaphone. 

Now come with me into the prairie spaces, and watch the 
American boy coining his wits into gold. Here is Charles, 
aged thirteen, with a nice little pony of his own and $40 
in the bank besides. His first capital was a dying piglet 
with a broken back, presented by his father as a hopeless 
case. But Crip pulled through and lived, fed by his young 
master with pitiful care. Crip was soon sold for $4, and 
the money invested in other piglets with equally slender 
prospects of life; for Charles was now become-an expert. 
He was constantly marketing porkers, and reinvested at last 
in sheep, with which he had great luck. 

"I saved my pennies and nickels till I was six," the suc- 
cessful man will tell you in a reminiscent mood. "Then I 
had ten dollars. With that I bought a Jersey calf, earning 
money for its keep till it became a cow, and I was able to 
sell milk, prouder than any farmer." 

The girls make and sell college flags to help their own 
education. A widow with sick children and a mortgage 
of $500 on her frame house will turn her last few cents into 
the nucleus of a little fortune. She becomes a "cake archi- 
tect." Thousands of women have found "the cook-stove 
route to Success": Mrs. Ellen Kidd of Richmond, Va., with 
her pin-money pickles; Miss Mary Laverty, with canned 
and jellied fruits, now worth $7000 a year; Mrs. L. A. 
Schaaff, who sells marmalade by the car-load in every city 
of America. Man, woman, or child, these people will not 
be kept down, whatever disability may hamper them. Con- 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 153 

sider the case of F. R. Bigler, who as a railway servant lost 
his right arm below the elbow and his left foot above the 
ankle. ' ' I was up against it, ' ' this gallant fellow owned to 
me in Kansas City, Mo. "But I had to forget the word 
'can't.' What's more, I slid past 'I will' and froze on to 
'I must/ whilst learning to write with my left hand. 

"On leaving the hospital I walked miles after a sales- 
man's job, with a 'hot box' in the new joint of my artificial 
leg. And a dandy salesman I became ! When I called, I 
gingered up the 'Can't-See-You's' and 'Nothun' Doin's,' 
till they gave me the glad hand as 'Expectiug-You's' and 
'Dee-lighted You've Come!' Mind, I've broken no sky- 
lights on my way to the top, but all the same I 'm comfort- 
ably fixed." 

The American spirit shines bravely here. It is a spirit 
of many facets, with an ethical code which, it must be 
owned, is lenient to "the 'cute trick that comes off." 
Many a time have I heard the late Edward Ilarriman un- 
ravel the tangled skein of American business with a sar- 
castic smile. He would tell of a State Legislature that 
blocked his plans. "These people are crooks," he would 
say, calmly; "and I can buy them." This frail little man 
was lord of fifty thousand miles of railroad and controlled 
a more powerful oligarchy than ever sat in Washington. A 
deep trader in the wash of Wall Street wars, Harriman 
was absorbed and cool at the desk, though fidgety and 
nervous in his private life. The ambit of his schemes over- 
leaped the United States ; he pegged out Mexico and China 
in enormous claims. It was strange, indeed, to hear this 
man dissect human nature and American graft, with all 
the frigid science and detachment which we associate with 
Guicciardini and Machiavelli. To the hot-headed Roose- 
velt (as President) this meteoric genius was "an undesir- 
able citizen." But he was also a great American, carrying 
craft and force with him as Ulysses did the winds. 



154 AMERICA'S DAY 

Huntington, Harriman, and Hill — here are three master- 
builders who "found desert and left a garden" in that 
mighty West where they carved out a group of the wealthi- 
est States in the world, and shaped with steel rails the 
destiny of five-and-twenty million people. As companions 
these titans are far more interesting than their European 
compeers. They may care no more for poetry and art than 
Darwin did ; they are probably eaters and hunters of facts, 
who 

"Contemplate the wisdom of the past, 
And see the splendid thing we've made of it at last." 

But their whole life is in their work. Big deals are to 
them a delectation, just as painting was to Veronese; his 
water-colours to Turner, and to Gautier and Flaubert the 
magic of carven words and jewelled lines. 

Sir Rivers Wilson once travelled West with James Hill, 
and for two hours sat with the statesman-strategist in his 
private car, soaking in statistics and economics of the 
prairie and its population. "I was mentally prostrate," 
the Englishman owns. "I left him at last with the excuse 
that I had letters to write, but really in order to sleep off 
the debauch ! An hour later I was awakened by a knock on 
my door. It was Hill's secretary, with four foolscap sheets 
packed with figures, and commencing: 'Dear Sir Rivers, — 
Pursuant to our discourse. . . .' ' So thought and action 
were inextinguishable fires! James Hill saw with sleeping 
eyes, and played the game in dreams by night as well as 
day. 

To sit with a group of these men on the deck of a yacht in 
the Sound, or in the lounge of the Poinciana at Palm Beach 
is to realize that truth is stranger than any fiction in the 
matter of human experience and strife. The big fellows 
relax and expand on these occasions; they grow episodic 
and discursive, searching the detritus of years and recalling 
trifles with a tinge of regret in their mirth. Thus "A" left 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 155 

a poor man's camp in Arizona, and was soon digging out 
"gold bricks as big as an Iowa barn that assayed twenty 
dollars to the ounce." As a lad, "B" was in a copper 
boom on the El Paso and South- Western, a savage country 
close to the Mexican border. "C" was of the ancicn 
noblesse of New York, with no rough corners in his career. 
He came of a family that waxed great as realty values 
grew in the most chaotic of cities. The C's had a pedigree 
that went back to 1801, when hay was mown in Astor Place. 

"D" was once the slave of a cross-roads store in south- 
west Kansas, where railways were unknown, and broom- 
corn and milo-maize stretched in leagues to a brassy 
horizon. Here "D" doled crackers and tea to old-timers. 
He chewed calico, too, and spat balls of it on the counter 
before critical ladies to prove that the colours would not 
run. As a child of eleven " E " ran errands for the men in 
the Cambria steel-plant at Johnstown, Pa. At thirty-eight 
he was a millionaire. One night "E" met ten of his col- 
leagues in the Stotesbury mansion in Philadelphia, where 
he sold Cambria to the Midvale people for $72,900,000. 

"F" is the head of a mail-order concern whose sales 
amount to $140,000,000 a year. Of this immense traffic, 
not one dollar's worth is sold over the counter; it is purely a 
postal business, with catalogues and lists of which 40,000,000 
copies were issued last year. This idea was due to a boy 
station-agent in the Minnesota wilds. He sold cheap 
watches through the mails, and his advertising had an 
irresistible pull. Today "F" retails every known article 
from a button to a bungalow ; for wooden houses in sections 
are commonly ordered through the post in the United 
States. 

"Your staunch Aladdin home" (the advertisement tells 
you) "comes to you in a sealed box car, complete even to 
the key of the front door. All is ready for the carpenter to 
put up, with wide porch, a big parlour and dining-room; 



156 AMERICA'S DAY 

three bedrooms, a work-saving kitchen, a bath and the 
latest hygienic closets. The price is $687." These are the 
homes which the Western cyclone so easily whisks away, 
often with serious loss of life. They can also be jacked up 
and removed on wheels by a team of horses — or by a motor- 
car which is photographed in the act of trailing a mansion 
in its wake. For this will be a double-edged advertisement. 

I must not forget "G" in my group of magnates; he is 
the Timber King, perhaps the most distinctive of them 
all. His hosts of lumbermen in the Pacific North-West are 
turning American forests into cash with incredible speed. 
The}' sleep under pines that were towers of green when 
Columbus fell on his knees and kissed the earth of a New 
World. ' ' G " is something of a recluse, with a silent empire 
of his own in the remote States of Oregon and Washington. 

Here begins at dawn the song of the ax and hammer and 
saw ; the crop of centuries is harvested with an ardour and 
method which has lately alarmed the Federal Government. 
"We are the champion wasters of the earth," Secretary of 
Commerce Oldfield told the Philadelphia Board of Trade. 
And he gave amazing instances, including the reckless 
havoc wrought by squatocrats of the timber lands, before 
whom noble forests melted away into a dismal tangle of 
sumach and blackberries. 

I have spoken of ethical codes peculiar to men who have 
come to the solstice of honour and power. How these codes 
have changed one realizes as "H," the tram-and-train lord 
of New York, recalls the manoeuvres of Belmont and 
Ryan, of Gould and Sage and Whitney. Historians of the 
City try to probe the tangled mergers and pools of those 
troublous times; the perfidious deals which considered 
everything but the common people. "The story of our 
street railways," says a New York authority, "is one of 
franchises stolen from the public. Of bribery and the 



ADVENTURES IN SUCCESS 157 

corruption of officials; of debauchery in the Courts of 
Justice, of stock manipulation and the deliberate wrecking 
of rival roads, whereby hearts were broken and the innocent 
involved in direst ruin. A classic instance was the Thirty- 
Fourth Street tramway, which showed costs of $6,472,287 
per mile, whereas the real cost was only $150,000. The 
sum charged for steel rails alone would have laid the whole 
system with solid silver bars weighing forty-seven pounds 
to the yard." 

That era passed with the power of Tammany Hall. And 
today the Federal Government, whilst averse from undue 
interference — "Government by suspicion," as the President 
calls it — is determined to attack business of the "loaded- 
dice" variety : the description is again Dr. Wilson's own. 
Business of that kind is often allied with shady politics; 
and here an experience of the great Edison lends point. 
Apropos his first patent was a machine to record votes, and 
this he took to Washington, and showed to veterans in the 
Capitol lobby. 

"It's mighty ingenious," one of these conceded — "an 
invention you couldn't monkey with if you tried. And 
that's just the trouble, me lad. If all things here were 
on the square, and no man tried to crook us, — why this 
invention would be a dandy find. As it is, it's useless." 
The crestfallen inventor asked, "Why?" 

"Because we must leave a loophole," he was told, "a 
chance to block the fellow who seeks to railroad through 
Congress a little pork-barrel of his own. So you see, this 
machine is the last thing we want. Mind, it's a bright 
notion, all right for the Utopian State, but there's no ideal- 
ism here — only just politics. So take the damned thing 
away ! ' ' 

Mr. Edison owns that the lesson "broke him all up." 
He profited by it, however, and on the way home vowed that 



158 AMERICA'S DAY 

never again would he waste time and brains over an article 
which would not sell. There is much "Americanism" in 
both sides of this story. 

With these dubious ethics we find a puritanical spirit in 
the people at large. This paradox is seen in the career of 
Elihu Root, who is one of the ablest of American states- 
men. Mr. Root might have been Republican candidate for 
President, only the White House is for ever barred to him 
in public estimation. The counts against him are twofold : 
His defence of Boss Tweed before Judge Noah Davis, and 
his activity as leading counsel for the Metropolitan Street 
Railway — the most reckless of all the old-time traction 
gambles. William Tweed was the hugest embezzler whom 
even Tammany has known. He looted New York on a 
colossal scale ; and the lawyer who defended him was re- 
buked by the Judge after the notorious boss was convicted. 
"Good faith to a client," came from the Bench to Mr. Root, 
"can never justify or require bad faith to one's conscience. 
It is well to earn fame as an advocate ; it is still better to be 
known as an honest man. ' ' 



CHAPTER X 

PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 

President Wilson locates the real wealth of America in 
"our great, flowering acres," and quite rightly points to 
the farm as the greatest asset of all. In 1916, although 
the crops were poor, agricultural products realized the 
vast sum of $13,41'J,U0O,00U. High prices made up for a 
diminished yield, and the following season, in response to 
Presidential appeals, the area under cultivation was 
enormously increased. The city American knows little 
about rural conditions. lie is in the main an agrophobe, 
and life in the country is to him inconceivable. Thus Rube, 
the farmer, looms as a comic creature, whose ways are 
drolly shown in coloured supplements of the Sunday papers. 
He is scarcely real — a shadowy wraith, with scientific 
guardians in Washington who teach him to tickle the soil 
and so drown America with plenty. 

Against this may be set the fact that Rube is leaving the 
land for the streets of "white light," and the big industrial 
centres ; here he does less work and earns much more money. 
This movement is remarked in all nations, but I cannot 
stay to comment upon it. Even Germany is alarmed by a 
flight from the land which has reduced her rural population 
from 63.4 per cent, in 1871 to barely 39 per cent, today. 
But that Rube, the American rustic, should forsake his 
garden came as a real shock to the city folk. He was 
thought to be a pampered person, turning over wads of 
wealth with a pitchfork, and keeping old age at bay in 
the great outdoors. Thirty dollars hung from his fig-tree. 
A Texan acre gave him a whole bale of cotton, or cauliflow- 

159 



160 AMERICA'S DAY 

ers to the value of $900 where there was a well to wet the 
top. So at any rate the city understood. 

What was the hog but a prowling dividend? The hen 
was worth $9,000,000 to Kansas alone. As for the goat, 
he cropped the worthless hillside and made grass-land out 
of it in the process. He raised his own kids, boarding 
them on brush and weeds, with much consideration for the 
farmer. Experts of the comic supplement showed the goat 
browsing on bits of paper and tin. cans. He was said to 
weed the garden, and repair the fences for the feeble 
farmer who looked to Congress instead of to manure and 
the sweat of his own face. . . . 

So the homeseeker of the plains was now bound for 
Broadway, and the intensive farming of human beings ! 
Not alone from the Dakota Bad-Lands was he trekking, 
or the Oregon sage, but from that tropic paradise of the 
poor man— palmy, piney Florida, surely the fairest State 
in all the sisterhood of commonwealths ? Florida was below 
the frost-line, the city man argued. It was an open-air 
hothouse of sugar-cane and citrus groves, where no man 
worked save for exercise and to feed the less fortunate 
Northern people. 

With little in his pocket but rectangular holes, the 
merest hobo could buy orange land down here, and rich 
muck soil such as old Nile never made in its overflowing. 
For the terms of the agent were : " A dollar an acre down — 
that's all! a dollar an acre a month — that's easy." 
Florida's name evoked a Pindaric Elysian for the pure in 
heart. "A Garden of Eden without snakes," as the land- 
boomer called it feelingly — "A Riviera without swells." 
Here the lotus-eater shot big game in his back-yard, and 
hauled out of the sparkling Gulf red snapper, pompano, 
and the mighty Jew-fish of four hundred pounds. 

Wiry, then, was Rube leaving the lush regions, and head- 
ing for Manhattan and the skyscrapers ? The official reply 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 161 

surprised America. It was because of the drear serfdom of 
the farmer's lot; because of a host of foes beyond the 
scope and science of the Federal Entomologist in Washing- 
ton. True, the Bureaux showed Rube how to fight the 
chinch-bug and the army worm ; the weevil that spoiled his 
cotton-bolls, the tick that tormented cattle and pierced their 
hides to the farmer's loss. But human pests preyed also 
upon Rube: usurer, the big railroads, and a gang of com- 
mercial brigands who posed as middlemen and absorbed 
nearly all his profits. "Our normal life is on the land," 
says Henry Ford, speaking for America in the mass. 
Ford's earliest dream was the cheap farm tractor, with 
fuel distilled from the growing crops and not bought from 
the greedy Standard Oil. "The mechanical tractor will 
replace the horse and all draft cattle; it will do all the 
heavy work and make our farmer independent of short-haul 
freight rates. As things are, more than fifty per cent, is 
added to the consumer's cost after the crops are grown !" 

"Efficiency in production comes first," this typical Amer- 
ican pursues. "But not less important to Rube is the mat- 
ter of handling, distributing, and marketing his stuff. Up 
to now the trusts have cheated our farmer. The cost of 
transport hampered him, the banks have soaked him an 
awful price for loans. I want to do away with all this. I 'd 
like Rube to stay on the farm, for he's better fixed now than 
ever he was. The cheap car keeps him in touch with the 
outer world. He can hitch his telephone to the barbed 
wire fence ; he has the phonograph, the moving pictures, and 
electric aids. Still, when all's said, our farmers do need a 
missionary government and influential friends in Con- 
gress." They have a staunch friend in President Wilson, 
whose Good Roads Bill and Cotton Futures Act, the Office 
of Markets and Rural Credits Bill, are all sound measures 
in the agricultural revolution which began with the greatest 
of wars. 



162 AMERICA'S DAY 

America learned from her Government that Rube had 
been neglected. He was a kind of mujik, it seemed, whose 
very existence the intelligentsia of the East ignored, until 
high food prices brought him, together with his crops and 
"critters," on to the front page of the New York papers. 

But who is Rube? Whence comes the most unmartial 
of all Americans, whose attitude to war is summed in the 
Chinese maxim: "We do not make swords of our best 
iron, nor soldiers of our favourite sons"? Rube is often 
enough an alien — a German, a Finn or a Swede, at his 
ease on the early homestead claim, which may be twenty 
miles off the rail in a primeval wilderness of dark pines 
and tamarack and fir. Rube is the landless man on the 
manless land; he squats with his women upon wild sod 
soil, where steam outfits are breaking a thousand acres a 
day. I saw Rube in the primitive stage at a dry-farm 
meeting of Poles on the prairie of Eastern Colorado. Here 
thirty families sat down to a basket dinner, with stack- 
covers upheld with boards to keep off a sun-blaze which 
imposed silence upon us all. There was not a tree to be 
seen as tired eyes swept a breathless horizon. This is how 
townships begin. 

The next scene is a group of wooden shacks and sod- 
houses, with buffalo grass for lawns. Water must be hauled 
two miles; but the women are brave, and take their turn as 
path-tinders, ploughmen and builders. Even so, Rube is a 
good American ; he may even be a real American migrating 
from another State. In any case, there is keen competition 
to get him. Virginia makes an official bid. So do the rail- 
roads and land-agents of the South and South -West, going 
out by way of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas ; the semi-arid 
regions and the Pacific Coast — then back East through the 
Rocky Mountain States: Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. 
The rural homeseeker is really an immigrant of a secondary 
type. He is one of the floating mass that studies, with a 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 163 

view to betterment, the literature issued by State agencies, 
as well as by realty-men of all grades. 

Thus the intense cold of [Michigan may prove too much 
for the Italian beny-grower. He is therefore attracted to 
the Pecos Valley of New Mexico, where the Reclamation 
Service have, by irrigation, made apricot orchards out of a 
desert of cactus and sand. On the other hand, a Dane or a 
native American may be driven from Arizona by the fierce 
heat; and he now surveys all America's range for a more 
temperate clime. There is constant migration of this kind ; 
and to lure the settler on to the land is the special work of 
railway Industrial Departments charged with the develop- 
ment of new territory. With the rhapsodic boomer-sales- 
man who buys part of "Section 32 — Township 12 — Range 
14," I shall deal in more detail, as he deserves. For the 
land-boomer is a genius, as well as the most amusing rascal 
in America; he buys by the mile and dreams of selling by 
the square foot. 

Booklets and maps, folders, pamphlets, and "letters of 
experience" — these are turned out by the ton. Written 
with skill and fervour, they are illustrated with photographs 
of a conventional type. Here, for example, is an early 
pioneer beside a crude hut on the roughest of land. On 
the opposite page is the same man assisting a large wife 
(and the girls) into a swell car outside a colonial mansion. 
He has made good in a few years. In the background a 
couple of whirling threshers are at work; and farm hands 
are driving buggies through oceanic crops, from which 
emerge only the men's heads and those of the horses. A 
glance at this farm literature is worth while, for it reveals 
an important phase of America's materialism. Nature and 
man's labour are here translated into dollars and cents; the 
versions varying from sober tables and reports to soaring 
raptures over "the golden pay-dirt which you handle with 
a hoe." 



164 AMERICA'S DAY 

Virginia makes a dignified appeal, as befits the Mother 
of States. Settlers are shown the tobacco-fields, and 
tasselled maize which is fourteen feet high. Orchard 
ledgers of Waynesboro are produced to show how each tree 
filled ten boxes, at $10 a box, with "that sun-kist pippin 
which we call the Young Man's Hope." Then come the. tes- 
timonials. Here is a doctor from California, disappointed 
by coastal fogs and the heat of inland valleys. He had 
lived in many States, and was now vowed to Virginia, 
where niggers knew their place and malaria and mosquitoes 
were alike unknown. 

There was also the man from Iowa, to whom northern 
blizzards and cyclones were now but an evil dream. He 
was today the Water-melon King, filling standard cars 
on the railway with Eden Gems of forty pounds apiece, 
grown on deep phases of the Norfolk loam. These migrant 
settlers are met by local agents whose strident offers call 
from the official booklets. "The chance has come to You 
— it will not come to your children." . . . "Be Careful!" 
cries the Homeseeker's Friend. "You may encounter a 
crook at the depot, and of course he has a big bargain 
just to toll you off. If he says he's the agent, and won't 
let you see the seller, then it's time you sat up and looked 
for horns and a tail ! ' ' The honest one tries to put this 
warning into German, Magyar, and Italian. "You are my 
guests, gentlemen," says he with the beau geste. "Your 
board and livery will cost you nothing on the show-me 
trip." 

As we go South and West the exuberance of the boomer 
rises. "It's mighty fine to be king of your own farm," 
says North Carolina, where deed restrictions "will for ever 
prevent the land from passing to a negro": this clause is 
never waived. "It's grand to know the future without 
any fears, and that the man of fifty-five — the age of city 
failure — is here at his best; his experience ripe, his judg- 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 165 

ment good, with no lime in his bones — thanks to God's 
sweet Southern air." . . . "How can any reader," a sud- 
den challenge rings, "with red blood in his veins, scan the 
leaping stories set down here, and not feel fired in the same 
way? So fill up the contract-form on the last page — it is 
your Declaration of Independence." Here is a Chadbourn 
farmer who came in a prairie schooner from Indiana after a 
voyage of six weeks and five days. He was a cripple, with 
an invalid wife and eight children — "as forlorn a family as 
ever sought the sun in this blessed garden spot, where 
merely to breathe is to drink Ambition in camel-draughts." 

That heroic cripple cleared the first three acres on his 
knees, and was soon raising wheat at forty-five bushels to 
the acre. "But he said 'Yes,' " the earnest agent hammers 
at waverers. "He grasped the offer, as the city man may, 
leaving all the turmoil — the battering, bruising strife of 
office and streets. Come where the tomato ripens in mid- 
May. Come where the hog only dies when he goes to the 
smoke-house, after a riot in peanut fields where the 40-bushel 
crop merges mystically into pork at four hundred pounds 
to the acre. ' ' 

Kansas, the core of the continent, raises an unblushing 
pa?an in her own praise. The Sunflower State is not the 
treeless, sand-swept, cyclonic barren of city imagining, but 
a granary "where the farmer has so much corn that he 
can't find his way home!" There were no white men here 
in 1850. The Indian hunted the buffalo ; American soldiers 
hunted the Indian ; all the plagues of Egypt settled on the 
soldier until the name of Kansas became a lurid reproach. 
All that has passed, and today the State has nearly two mil- 
lion people who have done wonders to plough the Great 
American Desert off the map. 

In the semi-arid regions of the "West, vast areas are now 
"brought under the ditch" by the U. S. Reclamation 

Service. And by the Carey Act, agreements are made with 

i 



i66 AMERICA'S DAY 

the Federal Government for the development and sale of 
desert lands — "not exceeding a million acres in any one 
State." Irrigated farms are sold with water-rights from a 
system of canals, like that of the Arkansas Valley of Col- 
orado, which cost $2,000,000. The result is very striking. 
Cherry-orchards here make $500 an acre. Senator Crow- 
ley's little fruit-farm of ninety acres at Rocky Ford cleared 
$20,000 in a single season. 

But the boom State — the State of mushroom cities and 
fortunes — is surely Oklahoma, which was long ago given to 
the red man as a home ' ' so long as the grass grows and the 
water runs." It was President Jackson who signed this 
domestic scrap of paper. But the Cherokees refused to 
budge beyond the Mississippi. The Seminoles went on the 
warpath for years; but at last the Five Civilized Tribes 
were settled in Oklahoma. Not for long, however. One 
April day in '89 an army of whites, 60,000 strong, invaded 
this No-Man's Land, and the city of Guthrie was born in 
a night with a population of 10,000 souls. Next the Iowa 
and Fox lands were thrown open. After these came 
3,000,000 acres of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservations. 
The Cherokee Strip was twice as big ; and to it were added 
lands of the Kickapoo, Kiowa, Apache, and Wichita Na- 
tions. There was no rest for the red man. He is an Amer- 
ican misfit ; he vanishes slowly, out of sight and out of mind, 
with his tomahawk tamed to a pruning-hook, his buffalo- 
robe exchanged for an agency blanket. Yet some of these 
redskins are very rich. Braves of the Osage Nation draw 
millions of dollars from lands and royalties on oil and 
natural gas. A headright in the Osage tribe is worth 
$27,500 ; but I fear wealth only hastens the process of decay. 

Restrictions upon Indian lands have been gradually re- 
moved in favour of the white pioneer. Soon there will be 
little left for the aboriginal tribes but "reasonable areas for 
homesteads." Meanwhile, the invaders develop Oklahoma 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 167 

with impetuous zeal. New cities are shaped in an hour. 
Newcomers dwell in tents and shacks and dug-outs until the 
township of Pawnee or Shawnee is fairly on the map — 
heated and lighted with natural gas, oiled in crude oil or 
grain, and of course with a live newspaper to record and 
boost the raw metropolis. 

All the semi-arid States have irrigation schemes. Even 
Nevada tried to forget her lurid past, and now poses as 
"Uncle Sam's Nine Million Dollar Farm." Here land is 
almost given away, and water-rent charged for a ten-year 
lease of the dams and ditches of the Truckee and Carson 
Rivers. The idea is to supply the mining centres with fresh 
home-grown food. For here is a large non-producing com- 
munity with plenty of money to spend. Nevadan towns 
and camps are largely fed with tinned stuif, imported in 
carload lots from more fertile States. This elusive treasure- 
house could never sustain herself, and at last the Reclama- 
tion Service came to her aid with canals and pumps and 
reservoirs. 

Thereupon much of the desert bloomed. Diversified 
farms appeared among the sagebrush of Las Vegas; oases 
glowed in the Carson Valley, not far from the famous 
Comstock Lode. And a new Nevada called to the farmer, 
dressing the Sierras in orchard guise and denouncing as 
slander her old repute as an ash-heap freaked with gold 
and silver. 

I fear she remains a volcanic desolation. After all, 
Nevada has her own bonanzas — her sudden pay-streaks of 
gold, and wild stampedes, as to the Kendall claim where 
ore was sacked assaying $10,000 to the ton. Farming in 
this Tom Tiddler's ground is a ticklish task. "You must 
have money to begin with" — even the land-boomer admits 
this awkward fact. "The capitalist can live here in com- 
fort" is his victim's way of putting it. And therewith 
that victim works up to a crescendo of disillusion. He 



168 AMERICA'S DAY 

writes a letter that sears the recipient who sold the land 
and representing it as Nature's shrine, where a few twigs 
stuck in the rock became a bending grapefruit orchard. 
"The only trouble with pears is the breaking down of the 
trees." . . . 

"Yes," sighed an agent to me in St. Louis. "Nevada is 
an imperfect Eden, with a soil-making process that tends 
to get on top of the water. It's a pity. The farmer out 
there needs real science as well as the push you can't keep 
in with a hog-tight fence. Strange, how the man of guinea- 
pig power will hear Opportunity knock along that rainless 
sand ! He takes up three hundred and twenty acres under 
the Expanded Homestead Law, and then sits down to watch 
things grow ! Of course nothing grows but disgruntlement. 
And the last chapter is a letter to the agent so hot that 
Uncle Sam needs an asbestos mail-bag to carry it." 

Dry-farming and the ditch are also features of New 
Mexico and Arizona. Torrid arroyos and virgin mesas 
have here been made to yield; but again the process is 
not for the poor man. Both of these desert States are 
larger than Great Britain ; their range includes the date- 
palm and the turquoise mine. Here also, I must say, the 
West remains very mild, and no boom literature can alter 
the fact. It is all very well for Arizona to advertise her 
fabulous copper mines, her new orange and olive gardens; 
her ostrich farms, and that Ilomeseeker's Ideal — the Salt 
River Valley, where irrigation has done flowery things. It 
is good to hear that the Houses of Parliament in Phoenix 
were "built without scandal, or even a breath of sus- 
picion"; that college men are ranching here; that the desert 
is "dry" indeed in a whisky sense, and wholly free from the 
toughs and yahoos too long associated with the Border State 
in uninstructed minds "back East." 

Granting all this, the fact remains that Arizona is the un- 
likeliest place for farming. Moreover, judge and jury have 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 169 

not yet superseded the "hip pocket" court as an arbiter of 
equity and law. The Arizona Rangers, under Captain T. 
H. Rynning, could tell tales of frontier life madder than 
any yarn set out in the penny blood beloved of British boys. 
Grim encounters with smugglers and stage-robbers, moon- 
shiners and cattle-thieves — Indian, Mexican, and American. 
For the Arizona bad man still haunts the Border; and at 
Douglas he has only to cross the dusty street to find himself 
in Mexico. Down here desperadoes still spur into town 
with pistols, rifles, and dynamite, intent upon the bank 
safe. And later they gallop over the Border with their 
haul. The lifting of horses and stock became so serious at 
last that small ranchers gave up in despair; and then the 
Arizona Legislature brought the Rangers into action. 
These are half-police, half-soldiers; crack shots, and cowboy 
sleuths well versed in the desert wiles and amenities. So 
the farmer in these parts has enemies in lurk, even though 
"God an' Natur' " be not ranged against him, or the -wolf 
and the worm — the flood and drought and tornado of the 
Northern States. 

It is this eternal warfare which in part accounts for 
Rube's defection, and that growing distaste for life on the 
land which has alarmed the Federal Government. The 
symptoms are not merely local ; they are fairly general from 
sea to sea. Over much of New England farming is un- 
profitable now; the hilly sections are worked out. New 
Hampshire and Vermont, northern New York and Western 
Massachusetts have "abandoned farms"; the process is 
spreading in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia. Thou- 
sands of men from the Middle West have gone over into 
British Columbia or the Canadian North-West, in search 
of cheap and fertile lands. What is the cause of this? 
Partly the increase of population. The disappearance of 
public domains has had much to do with it. So have spec- 
ulative abuses of the land-laws; the "tiring" of the soil 



170 AMERICA'S DAY 

by imprudent methods, and the havoc of floods due to reck- 
less destruction of the forests. 

Few Americans realize the damage done by soil erosion, 
caused by the cutting of timber on the hills. "Will the 
lumberman straighten up," asks the booklet of the Woman's 
Club, "and see what his fortune is costing us?" No, he 
will not, so the destruction goes gaily forward. The present 
stand of timber covers 550,000,000 acres, or about one- 
fourth of the United States. Of this stand four-fifths is 
privately owned, and the present rate of cutting is three 
times greater than the annual growth. Forest fires alone 
cost $50,000,000 a year ; and all efforts to rouse public senti- 
ment have had little effect in reducing the prodigal waste 
of timber which attends the development of America: the 
extension of railroads, the settlement of public lands, the 
building of cities, and the opening of mines. In one year 
the State of Michigan alone cut 3,600,000,000 feet of white 
pine, with the result that her wheat crop steadily dwindled 
from 35,000,000 bushels to 8,000,000 bushels. Indiana's 
forests are but a memory now ; a century of clearing forces 
that State to import eighty-two per cent, of her lumber. 
Disastrous floods are frequent in deforested areas, like the 
lowlands of the Southern Appalachians. In one year floods 
fed from this treeless tract caused $18,000,000 worth of 
damage, sweeping away bridges and dams and homes, as 
well as spreading barren sands over thousands of fertile 
acres. 

The flood was a serious discouragement to the farmer, and 
he began to give up ownership of the soil. In a couple of 
decades one-tenth of all the holdings changed to a tenant 
basis ; and nomadic renters hastened the agricultural decay. 
In 1902 the Reclamation Act was passed; and a Board of 
soil experts and Army engineers went out to survey the 
desert States, with a fund of $20,000,000 behind them for 
irrigation schemes. 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 171 

Thirty million acres of likely land were mapped out by 
the Reclamation engineers; then rivers were dammed and 
waters impounded on a great scale. But from the first 
Director Newell sounded a warning note. No simpleton 
would succeed as a farmer in these arid zones. Labour 
alone would not do, for "if working took the place of 
thinking along the desert ditch, then every male would 
have a bank account." 

Here the opening is for the few ; and the fact should be 
made clearer to the trustful homeseeker, who is too often 
swindled by visions of an irrigated West, where the orange 
grows in dust and sleek kine turn the alkali-flats into a 
model dairy. There is too much of this hilarious stuff in 
circulation, and the rustic, native or alien, is all too apt to 
believe it. Is he not for ever absorbing miracles? He 
hears of a cow on the shore of Lake Huron milked by elec- 
tric power from Niagara Falls ; of moving pictures thrown 
on the screen in Seattle by means of melting glaciers in far- 
flung peaks of the Rockies. The wit of man — machinery — 
electricity; all things are possible through these, the wide- 
eyed rustic is told, until wonder has banished all mistrust. 

"If your crops increase at this rate," said the agent to 
the Texan planter, "what '11 they be worth ten years 
hence ? ' ' Rube was overcome, but managed to blurt out at 
last: "There ain't that much money in the world!" It 
is this bouncing spirit which makes the boom literature so 
easily accepted. A favourite State with the land-sharks 
and colonizers is Florida, "where wire nails will blossom in 
a sandy loam, which has a marl below it that shows eighty 
per cent, of lime." Florida is a magical name, linked with 
tropic fruits — the lemon and the lime; guavas, mangoes, 
and pineapples. Nevertheless it is no place for the average 
farmer, as a glance from the car window shows on the way 
down to Palm Beach, which is the Monte Carlo of America. 

Here are miles of palmetto-scrub with sworded leaves; 



172 AMERICA'S DAY 

miles of dismal cypress swamp, and of live-oak festooned 
with ragged moss; miles of grey wilderness too; and over 
all a sifting of tine dust which covers everything in the train 
as with a coating of flour. An unpromising garden is this 
Florida, tricky and treacherous; rich enough in spots, 
though often ruinous to the experienced citrus-grower. 
Yet homeseekers buy land here which they have never seen, 
relying entirely upon the boomer and the Development 
Company who seem so fair and forthright, with their money 
back offers and pressing invitations to a Show-Me trip "in 
our private car, Millicent." 

As many as fifty of these concerns^ have operated at one 
time in the "orange garden of the world." They buy 
thousands of acres of sand-soaked stuff and sell it at $50 
an acre to weaklings who drift from State to State in search 
of an easier life. There is no resisting the boom literature, 
nor the follow-up letters mailed at intervals from an office 
in Chicago or St. Louis. These are positively ecstatic. 
They anticipate each question and demur till it seems folly 
not to sign and remit a money order for a stake in "this 
predestined centre of wealth and population." . . . 

' ' Here things grow for the sake of growing, and to make 
glad the heart of man. Here noxious things call a hushed 
truce, and good growing weather lasts from March to De- 
cember. . . . You're homesick for the South, so come out 
of bitter places where the thermometer gets white in the 
face with cold. Come down to Punta Gorda and perfume- 
laden zephyrs of the Gulf. The frail and feeble here get 
well, the well get rich; the poor live for nothing on game 
and fish and a little garden. What you pay for coal up 
North will clothe your family in Florida. "... And so the 
wild place is invaded. The new homestead may look like a 
forsaken goat-walk in West Texas. It may be in the tall 
timbers, or in raw cut-over lands — even in a noisome marsh, 
where a wagon sinks to the hubs in mire. Still it is always 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 173 

Florida, and the Show-Me tripper is easily overborne by 
the rogue's word. Just as dubiously (the shy visitor is 
reminded) did the "Iowa pioneers survey those treeless 
plains which now feed the world." 

And then the boomer gets down to practical things. "If 
your hogs get wormy with over-eating, mix lye with their 
feed and so protect your profits. Don't wait till the hogs 
are dead. Try a quarter of a can to each barrel of slop. . . . 
Your own health is assured. Doctors are the only droopy 
people in these parts. If you hear a cough, be sure it's 
imported. And you'll know the hearse horse when you see 
him, for he's downright ashamed of his job!" The comic 
side of this traffic has long been pictured in the papers: 
Mr. Ilomeseeker's first night in a languid heaven which 
turns out to be a floral swamp aflame with fireflies; the 
boom of bitterns heard afar, and frogs in all octaves. A 
bush township is on the map indeed, and there it will re- 
main for a season. It will never materialize beyond the 
boomer's first improvements. Remote from railway mar- 
kets, it is impossible to sell delicate and perishable fruits. 
So the lots merge once more into the jungle. And Mr. 
Homeseeker — "his face w r orking, his mind yearning for 
likely curse- words" — is driven from an Eden where snakes 
curl on his doorstep and alligators bark in his backyard ! . . . 

There is no need to harp on the mischief of these frauds. 
The failures drift back to the city, and for all time they 
kick and croak whenever "the land" is mentioned. For 
it calls up a hell of a life, with savings sunk and farming 
hopes gone down for ever. Such pessimism as this injures 
America badly. Meanwhile, the boomer swings another 
deal, being nobody's keeper but his own. Yet even this 
callous calling shows signs of grace in a time of flux and 
change. The new type of boomer is Ben F. Faast, of Eau 
Claire, Wis. He formed a company and bought 50,000 
acres of brushy, cut-over land to retail in the usual way. 



174 AMERICA'S DAY 

Most of the buyers were factory aliens and steel-mill hands ; 
nameless creatures known to the furnace boss as a number — 
as a bull might be, or a convict. In the course of years these 
men had saved a few hundred dollars; they could peel off 
a few ragged bills to make the first payment on fifty acres 
of the uncouthest land. 

But such "farms" are not quickly cleared; perhaps an 
acre a year is won. Knowing buyers will strip the brush 
from ten acres or so, and then grow clover and timothy 
among the stumps. Or they turn in cows and hogs and 
sheep to grub over the ground, and help the frost to dislodge 
the rugged roots. At any rate, Mr. Faast grieved over his 
clients' bargain. They could not support a family on the 
land; and, turning once more to wage-work, they fell 
between the two stools of livelihood. In this case the 
boomer decided to clear and develop the holdings; his 
company could do it better and cheaper than any individual 
settler. First of all the land was gone over with a steam 
stump puller. Then Mr. Faast built cottages and barns; 
he also stocked each forty-acre lot with a cow and two pigs ; 
a dozen fowls, six rolls of wire fencing, and other needs. A 
ready-made farm was then offered on a long-time basis of 
purchase ; and so low was the interest that the buyer could 
make a living from the start. 

I cannot stay to trace the rise of Boomtown from its 
"unincorporated" stage to the order of Judge So-and-So, 
who proclaims it a city of the second class. But miracles 
of this kind never cease. Not long ago the Imperial Valley 
in Southern California was a tangle of tropic thorns and 
arid scrub, infested with tarantulas and snakes. Last year 
it sent out 100,000 bales of fine cotton, and 10,000 freight- 
cars full of melons and other fruit. The chapparal thick- 
ets of South Texas are conquered this way ; so are malarial 
swamps of the Mississippi, which cover the richest of 
alluvial lands. 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 175 

Yet no skill can ensure success, and the fact is strikingly 
shown by the cotton crop. Of this commodity the world's 
annual need is 20,000,000 bales, and America produces 
about three-fourths ; the looms of Lancashire alone call for 
4,000,000 bales. Now in the first month of the war, when 
the New York Cotton Exchange closed its doors, the staple 
stood at 7 cents, or $35 per bale of 500 lbs. Planters and 
markets were aghast. A pool of $135,000,000 was formed 
to steady the price, and ten cents were aimed at as desirable. 
As consumers the Central Empires were cut off, but the 
military needs of the Allies created a boom without prec- 
edent in the trade. For in scientific hands the stuff can 
kill as well as clothe; cotton is a prime factor in the high 
explosive of today which destroys merchant ships and turns 
Northern France into a crater-field. By the end of 1915 
the price had risen to 12 cents, and Southern planters were 
mourning their reduced acreage and the careless handling 
of a growing crop which had been thought worthless. 

The yield for 1915 had been over 13,000,000 bales, and 
farmers now set to work with furious zeal on the largest 
acreage ever sown to cotton in the United States. Mean- 
while speculation and rumours of peace, with exhausted 
nations replenishing their stocks at any price, sent the 
staple up to 16 cents. The extra demand, it was thought, 
would exceed three million bales, apart from Indian and 
Egyptian supplies. But while man was proposing, Nature 
disposed. In mid-July, when all looked well, the whole 
cotton area of the Atlantic States was swept with storms of 
wind and rain. The rich bottoms were flooded for days, 
the uplands scoured and washed severely. To crown all, 
the dreaded weevil attacked the bolls in countless swarms; 
this insect flourishes in damp weather, and now it appeared 
in districts never visited before. There was great distress 
in Alabama, where the negroes were soon beating the woods 
for food; even white landlords had to mortgage their 



176 AMERICA'S DAY 

plantations. The crop excess of three million bales, so 
confidently predicted, now melted away. It was not even 
a normal crop, but about three million bales below; and 
the result was that cotton soared to 20 cents and over — a 
figure unapproached since the Civil War. 

Even more serious was the falling off in wheat. With 
high prices ruling in the first six months of war, the Ameri- 
can farmers added ten million acres to their wheat area. 
But much of the extra crop was so poor that millers 
refused to buy it; and there were many complaints from 
purchasers abroad. In 1916 it was hoped that wheat pro- 
duction would approach the normal, but here again Nature 
intervened, and Government forecasts came whittling 
down owing to losses from rust and blight, and other 
causes. In any case our daily bread is at the gambler's 
mercy. I know no stranger figure than that of the Chicago 
Wheat King, who never sees a grain of wheat and may be 
unable to tell a harvester from a plough. Yet he sways 
vast tides of the North-Western plains. Behold him in his 
skyscraper office, poring upon charts and wavering ratio- 
lines of population and production. 

The Wheat King has weather reports from Chile and 
the Argentine. He knows the threshing conditions of 
India and Siberia; the "invisible" supplies in farmers' 
hands and the "visible" in grain-elevators and ships; on 
the railways, the canals, and Great Lakes. At the man's 
elbow is a crop-map of the United States. And all day 
long electric advices ring and buzz from his commission- 
men throughout the continent, but especially in primary 
markets like St. Louis, Buffalo and Duluth. The King is 
warned of coming changes, and he acts accordingly. A 
rising storm in Montana may reduce by two per cent, the 
crops of Northern Minnesota. 

Of scenes in the Chicago wheat-pit it would be tiresome 
to speak. They are degrading; and in war-time they 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 177 

showed trade neutrality at its worst, with frenzied men 
screaming bids in each other's faces amid a tumult of 
indescribable violence. In a recent ten-day tussle "for 
future delivery" forty-four cents was added to each bushel 
of wheat. Millions of money were made and lost by 
dealers whom present-day America looks upon as enemies 
of the people and the farmers; the statesmanship of 
President Wilson is dead against these produce-gamblers; 
it may safely be said that their tricks and corners are a 
thing of the past. 

In Secretary Houston the American farmer found a 
friend indeed outside the high-brow circles of Agricultural 
Science. Mr. Houston is a practical economist ; his 
grading of crops and protective measures bid fair to restore 
to the land its old prestige. Since the passing of the 
Cotton Futures Act, the farmer is no longer at the mercy 
of local buyers, nor can the big operator raise or depress 
market prices at his own reckless will. In 1913 Mr. 
Houston had two hundred Kansan farms surveyed. It 
was then shown that with an average capital of $8800 
the owner received — after paying five per cent, on his 
money — exactly $529 for the year's work. On a farm 
averaging $18,359 his share was only $659 ; and where 
the investment reached $32,231, Rube had $1028 for him- 
self when the season 's battle was over. 

This revelation surprised the city folks. They imagined 
Rube planting dimes and reaping yellowbacks with the 
expert aid of Mr. W. J. Spillman, Chief of the Office of 
Farm Management in the Bureau of Plant Industry at 
Washington. The Department of Agriculture has been 
justly held in high esteem. It has spent hundreds of 
millions in research work, and heaped up records in 
agronomy and biology. Moreover, it sent trained pioneers 
into foreign lands for new things to grow. Here I touch 
upon America's "plant immigrants"; the story is quite 



178 AMERICA'S DAY 

a romance, and, so far as I know, unrecorded in Europe. 
It is assumed by the Department that there is not in this 
world any variety of grain, or a fruit or food-plant, which 
cannot be suited with a "stepmother" soil and climate 
somewhere between the bleak Dakotas and the Mexican 
Gulf ; the cane-brakes of Louisiana, and the wine and citrus 
lands of California. 

Therefore a corps of explorers is maintained; devoted 
men who will run any risks and use all means to send 
home scions and cuttings, seeds, and even useful insects 
like the kelep or Guatemalan ant, which it was hoped would 
prey upon the cotton-boll weevil: these live consignments 
go direct to the Parasite Laboratory at North Saugus, 
Mass. The work of plant introduction dates back to 
Franklin's day. So far back as 1770 we find that states- 
man-scientist (as Pennsylvania's agent) sending home 
mulberry clips and seeds. For many years American 
consuls did the same; and at last Congress voted $20,000 
a year for the support of botanists at large — keen-witted 
legions of peace who should go forth to conquer the nations 
on their own ground 

Here, for example, is David Fairchild, with a caravan in 
Babylon, and palm-suckers swaying from his camel- 
packs. "We pay $600,000 a year for dates to this very 
region," he told our consul in Bagdad. "Now we shall 
introduce the palm to our desert gardens at Yuma and 
Tempe, Ariz., and also at Mecca, Cal." Professor Hansen 
went to Turkestan for new foreign plants; Dr. Knapp 
brought the Kiashu rice from Japan; Carleton's prize 
was the dhurum wheat which suited the two Dakotas 
and Nebraska, and now is worth $10,000,000 a year f 
To transplant the Smyrna fig to Californian orchards took 
nineteen years ; but the task was done by Explorer Swingle, 
who made a special journey to Asia Minor for the wasp- 
like insects which fertilize the flowers. 



PAY-DIRT OF THE PLAINS 179 

I cannot linger over the adventures of these free-lance 
farmers. Fairchild was arrested in Corsica; and in a 
cross-country flight he cut enough scions or bud-sticks 
from the citron groves to graft a small American orchard. 
At Saaz, in Bohemia, the same envoy was a suspected 
person among the hop-growers. Cuttings were secured 
in the dead of night. Fairchild packed these in a ruined 
barn, and sent them off as "glass-ware" to his agent in 
Hamburg. This work is but a minor branch of the 
Department of Agriculture, which may be styled the 
mainspring of rural America. It has an army of 16,000 
men and women, including technicians and specialists in 
every branch. The past three years has entirely changed 
its methods — or rather added economic efficiency to the 
purely scientific side. 

"It is all very well," says Secretary Houston, "to teach 
the farmer to make two blades grow where one grew before ; 
but if he can't sell the extra blades at a profit, he's a 
poor business man." And in this way "we aim to help 
him." The farmer has wondered wiry he got less money 
for a larger crop. In 1912 America produced 677,758,000 
bushels of maize in excess of 1913, yet the farmers received 
$171,638,000 less for it To solve this and other problems 
the present Government created the Office of Markets 
and Rural Organization. In 1915 this Bureau showed 
the cotton-planters of the South what their product was 
worth, and induced them to hold it for a better price. 
Land banks and good roads are amongst other features 
of the renascence; and the Agricultural Extension Act 
will spend $10,000,000 a year in direct education of the 
farmer and his family. This Bill places in each of the 
2850 rural communities a couple of county agents — a man 
and a woman — specially picked for the task, and trained. 
These will work with the aid and direction of the land- 
grant colleges and the Department of Agriculture. 



180 AMERICA'S DAY 

It was Secretary Houston who realized that too much 
science and too little sense had been shown by the Wash- 
ington Bureau in their relation to the farmers, who were 
as far removed from their national guardians as they were 
from the State Department or the Coast and Geodetic 
Survey. Of what use was it to spend millions in research 
and pay no heed to practical application of the results? 
The farmers' bulletins were found to be too diffuse and 
technical. There was a treatise on the silver fox, but no 
popular paper on the raising of colts. Guinea-pigs and 
pheasants were learnedly presented, but there was no 
compendious pamphlet on the feeding of the dairy cow. 
Therefore concise and simple pamphlets were prepared, 
and of these over seventeen millions were issued to the 
farmers last year. 

Moreover, an Office of Information was created to 
summarize for the local papers all the literature of the 
Department, and make popular the lessons of scientific 
agriculture. So the farmer absorbed knowledge with the 
day's news. He was taught the lesson of field tests 
undertaken by the county agents: how a crop of hay 
showed a profit of 257 per cent, on an extra outlay in lime ; 
how to sort his potatoes and sell the best to the city hotels, 
getting as much for one grade as the entire crop used to 
fetch in haphazard daj'S. A new system of killing and 
chilling poultry replaced the traffic in live birds; new 
methods of picking and packing citrus-fruits saved decay 
in transit which entailed a loss of $1,500,000 a year to the 
Calif ornian growers. The functions of the middlemen ; 
co-operative purchase and sale of all things from berries to 
seed, and from implements to coal — these and other phases 
of life on the land now engage the Washington Department. 



CHAPTER XI 

"an helpmeet for him" 

The "solemn emphasis" and "sacred duty" of the United 
States, expressed by President Wilson in the Lusitania 
Notes, set the Germans discussing a new enmity of inevi- 
table drift. 

"The fact is," concluded the Hamburg Fremdenblatt, 
after a caustic survey, "that so deep a chasm yawns 
between our Kultur and America's that only a bridge 
of swords can span it." "This New World," the German 
stay-at-home was told, "is bossed by the women; they 
are worshipped over there like the sacred cats of Thebes." 
Aud to show the American man's nonentity, Herr Doktor 
would quote a Texan paper: "If there's $10 to be spent 
on clothes, Daughter takes $5, Sonny gets $3, Ma grabs 
$2 — and poor pa has his hat brushed!" 

No land was more foreign to the Teuton habit than this 
huge gynocracy; the rulers of it waddled out today in 
Persian tubes, and tomorrow rolled forth like the hooped 
Infants of Velasquez. American women were spoiled 
by cockering and indulgence. They counted life by the 
heart-throbs of passion and caprice, yet in twelve States 
the polling booths were open to them ; they swayed ninety- 
one votes in the Electoral College, and might well decide 
what manner of President should go to the White House 
and reign in their name. 

Germany reviewed these facts with rising ire. For if, 
as Bismarck said, the Fatherland was the male element 
among nations, surely America was the female, owing to 

181 



182 AMERICA'S DAY 

the social chromosome in her make-up which gave her a 
horror of the destroyer's role. How different was the 
status of woman in Germany, where she was a source 
of strength as the prime recruiter of an ''Army with 
a country"! Did not the German mother advertise her 
new-born child as "another little soldier for the Father- 
land"? Here the Kaiser set decent bounds to female 
activity, naming church, children, and kitchen as the 
proper spheres. On the land, even in peace-time, four-and- 
a-half million women handled the hoe, clad in the Petrine 
apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, and withal bred to 
worship of the male. These pious souls, as well as matrons 
and maids of high degree, were compared with the gay 
scansorial birds of New York and Newport who were intent 
only upon candy and clothes; the car, the salon, and the 
good time, with its biting thirst for change and the switch- 
it-off and fade-through of a life that was like a perpetual 
movie-film. . . . 

Now in all this German girding there is a modicum of 
fact leading to false conclusions in the Teutonic way, and 
ignoring incalculable factors. No sooner was war declared 
than America's women rallied to the President with a 
fervour which Berlin found disconcerting. The bourgeoise 
of France was not more devoted, nor the modish maid, 
who turned from the tango and tight skirts to become a 
jusqu'au boutiste — a bitter-ender with the passion of 
Jeanne d'Arc lighting her girlish eyes. 

A joint memorial, pledging loyal service and support, 
was offered to the President by eight of the greatest col- 
leges for women in the United States, including Barnard 
and Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Wellesley, and Mount Holyoke. 
At the White House this vow was read to the President 
by his two daughters, Mrs. F. B. Sayre and Miss Margaret 
Wilson: "Although we believe that the settlement of in- 
ternational difficulties by war is fundamentally wrong, we 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 183 

recognize that in a world-crisis such as this, it may become 
our highest duty to defend by force the principles upon 
which Christian civilization is founded." 

In the long list of German mistakes, the American 
woman must be given a prominent place. Her adhesion 
ensured the full measure of military and industrial aid, 
to say nothing of the part played by the farmer's wife 
and daughters in the food-supply of us all. I shall not 
deny the supremacy of women in the United States, for 
it is a fact. She is a law unto herself, imposing her will 
in all directions, from the motor-shops of Detroit to the 
ateliers of Fashion in the Place Vendome. Immersed in 
business, her men are apt to leave civic betterment to the 
women's clubs, as well as all the finer things of life, from 
music and aesthetics to the planting of shade trees. Women 
have much to do with the suppression of the liquor traffic 
as well as the promotion of better babies, with prenatal 
care and oversight for the poorest of mothers. In the 
"West especially the woman in public office is a power for 
good. She is there concerned with prison reform and pub- 
lic recreation ; with libraries and museums, city planning, 
local efficiency, and fire and police protection. 

In America marriage is considered from the business 
angle, with a wealth of published anecdote and testimony 
from successful men who love to tell the story of their 
climb, and the part which their wives have played in it. 
The effect of marriage upon employes is debated : how 
it steadies the worker and helps the speed-up of factory 
production; why bachelors are less efficient and devoted; 
why the married man lives longer, with evidence upon 
the subject from Herbert Spencer and the Germans, 
the insurance companies, the Federal Census Bureau, and 
big employers of labour like Mr. Armour and Mr. Vail. 
Whether young love pays any heed to this prosy aspect I 
take leave to doubt. Certain it is that couples are wedded, 



184 AMERICA'S DAY 

divorced, or merely "separated" with surprising ease in 
the United States. 

There is no attempt at uniformity in this matter. Some 
States forbid marriage between whites and negroes, whites 
and Chinese, and whites and Red Indians. Others allow 
all three. Marriage between first cousins is prohibited in 
sixteen States, and in some of these declared incestuous 
and void ; other States are quite complaisant in this regard. 
In most of the States you may not marry a step-relation; 
but in seven of them (and in the Hawaiian Islands) no 
such veto is imposed. 

Perhaps the greatest scandal of all is "easy alimony," as 
the result of a collusive bargain between the parties; 
the man willing to pay for freedom, the woman seeking 
a life of selfish sloth. In one New York court, alimony 
sets $4,000,000 a year in motion, and the evil has grown 
with the flush time. "Divorce is our subtlest social 
menace," says Judge Morschauser, of the New York 
Supreme Court. "The alimony system is the sanction 
of it by society and law, and it places a premium upon 
idleness and vice." "Do away with collusive divorce," 
said an eminent jurist to me in Washington, "and two- 
thirds of our childless couples will readjust their lives. 
Then we'll hear less of the 'I'm tired of him and he's 
tired of me, so why not fix a divorce ? ' " Last year in New 
York City the courts of Manhattan alone granted 1300 
divorces, and twice as manj^ separations. Yet the metrop- 
olis is by no means "easy" in this respect, whereas the 
"nisi-mills" of Reno, Nev., and Sioux Falls, S. D., are 
notorious all over the continent. Chicago's divorce rate 
is higher than New York's; America's fairest city — Denver, 
Col. — outpaced them all last year, having more than half 
as many divorces as there were marriages. 

This unrest is found among all classes, from the New 
York motorman to the queenly "cottager" of Newport; 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 185 

one of these dames threw her little son into the alimony 
bargain for an extra payment of a million dollars. 

Meanwhile the war offers new and vivid interests for 
the women as for the men. Within a month of President 
Wilson's declaration, the women of thirty -two States 
had volunteered for substitute work in a way familiar to 
us all, but wholly novel in the United States. The Wire- 
less League impressed many college girls; they sat with 
receivers on their heads, jotting upon pads the cryptic 
buzzings sent by Mr. Otto Redfern, the radio-inspector 
of the U. S. Navy. Then the suffrage parties formed 
National Service bodies on the usual lines — nursing and 
motor-driving, cooking, farming, and clerical work. New 
York had its War Substitute Department, calling for a 
unit of 100,000 women to replace in part the men who 
enlisted for the first Expeditionary Force. 

America's upheaval was the most bewildering of all. 
The continent was soon adrift, groping for guidance and 
trying to follow precedent of appalling trend. A lead 
had already been given by Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt. This 
great lady — a decoree of the Legion of Honour — worked 
as a scullion in the Lycee Pasteur at Neuilly. She was 
under fire at Pont-a-Mousson with Harvard ambidanciers 
and young free-lances of the American Field Service who 
were attached to the French Armies. Mrs. II. P. Whitney 
was another early worker in the French field; she hurried 
over with surgeons and nurses, motors, medical supplies, 
and clothing for thousands of refugees. At home the 
cloud of change spread slowly, till the state of war was 
a fact, and Liberty's torch glowed with new demands 
above New York Bay. Then it was that the pink tea 
vanished, and the Red Cross function became a social 
sign. Soon economy was a White House watchword; 
Mrs. Wilson and the Cabinet ladies were urging thrift 
and deprecating the extravagance in dress. Vanity's 



186 AMERICA'S DAY 

mirror was seen shot to pieces by the European guns ; the 
rites of Beauty were now concerned with that test of the 
nation which the President put so plainly ''for the future 
peace and security of the world." 

Now the American woman is an able recruit, as the 
German writers know, even when they present her in 
the rainbowed spray of Folly's fountain. She is, in fact, 
peculiarly adapted for management. Self-reliance is 
developed in her from childhood. Her business head is 
unaffected by a sentimental heart; the handling of affairs 
comes more naturally to an American woman than any 
other, not excepting the French. This applies to more 
than the common trades and callings; it covers also the 
learned professions, and the oversight of industry on the 
largest scale. 

A glance at the Census of any date shows hosts of 
women doing work which was thought to be man's alone. 
But this is a commonplace of American life. It has never 
called for remark or borne any relation to war. Nowhere 
else is the value and dignity of labour so respected, and 
this esteem applies equally to the woman's share. I 
take 303 occupations from the 1900 Census, and I find 
women engaged in 300 of them. They are slaters and 
plumbers, carpenters and house-painters; teamsters, elec- 
tricians, masons, bricklayers, and mechanics of every grade. 
Dentists, architects, and civil engineers are here in hun- 
dreds; commercial travellers and clergy by the thousand. 
And these last are licensed to preach, and to marry couples 
according to the State law. 

But I cannot hope to convey in brief space a fair idea 
of woman's activity; it is too huge a subject, too diverse 
and full of surprise. Consider the case of Widow Warren, 
of Silver City, N. M. — "General Contractor and Specialist 
in Concrete-work. " This typical Western woman has her 
own quarries and saw-mills, her steam derricks, steam shov- 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 187 

els and steam pumps, ready for the biggest job. She 
designed and built a dam of 50,000 cubic feet with the aid 
of Mexican gangs, whom she bossed with more than Ameri- 
can tact. 

My survey could be continued indefinitely. Turning 
to the South, we have Mrs. G. H. Mathis, of Alabama, 
the ablest soil-expert in the State, and a spreader of "pep 
and ginger" among all classes, from Governor Henderson 
himself down to the poor whites of the range, to whom 
this energetic lady introduced tomato-growing with excel- 
lent economic results. Mrs. Mathis has trebled the earn- 
ing-power of farmers in this cotton State. She has mul- 
tiplied values, introduced new crops, and wiped out 
the cattle-tick which was costing the stockman over a mil- 
lion dollars a year. 

It is difficult to speak in general terms of the American 
women, as it is of any other phase in a land of such 
extremes and joyous novelty. Here caste and degree take 
the widest flights, from the school-marm of the oil-lands 
to the grande dame of the Newport cliffs, who breathes an 
oxygen denied to the baser sort and spreads a feast like 
the Eleusinian mystery for the elect and few. Such con- 
trasts as America presents I have never seen elsewhere. 
The distance from Palm Beach luxury to the Polish hovel 
of the Panhandle is not to be measured in miles alone. 
And here let me say it is the wife of Rube the farmer who 
fills the asylums of the Middle West. Her lot is one of 
appalling toil, quite beyond the ken of folk outside the 
barbed-wire push of progress which is found beyond the 
Rockies. 

Very different is the city woman's life. Of course, it 
varies with the cities, of which some are as far apart as 
Cork is from Constantinople, with all manner of climates 
in between. Speaking generally, the American house- 
keeper is the most efficient of all, whether as contriver, 



188 AMERICA'S DAY 

seamstress, or cook. Yet in New York — and here is a 
typical paradox — housekeeping is a lost art, save among 
the rich, who pay their parlourmaids more than we do 
our high-school teachers. The metropolis is a hive of 
communal living; of vast hotels and apartments which 
leave the housewife nothing to do, and are very proud of 
the fact. Less wealthy families frequent boarding-houses; 
but even the best of these depress the permanent home- 
eeeker, whether she come from Europe, or from the Southern 
and "Western States, where home life has peculiar variety 
and charm. A New York clerk with a wife and $2000 
a year cannot look for a cosy suburban villa with a garden 
and a maid; he might as well expect a palace in Madison 
Avenue. 

Life in the cities is not conducive to child-bearing, as 
may be seen from the falling birth-rate among American 
stocks, as distinguished from the foreign-born, whose 
fertility brings the general level up to that of France, and 
no more. The real American family has decreased sur- 
prisingly in the past hundred years. Franklin found an 
average of eight children to each married couple of his 
day, but when the present century opened the number 
had fallen to between one and four. It is the alien stocks 
that increase, and the older aristocracies of intellect and 
rank express dismay over the fact. In Massachusetts, 
taking all social classes, it was shown that the foreign-born 
had twice as many children as the native Americans. 
Then Dr. William Guilfoy, of the New York Health 
Department, showed that these alien infants were a more 
resistant stock, with a death-rate well below that of Ameri- 
can children. "Why was this? Because the foreign mother 
suckled her babe. "She is more likely," Dr. Guilfoy adds, 
"to stay at home and look after her family." 

All manner of leagues have sprung up to study and 
solve the "race suicide," to which Roosevelt drew attention 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 189 

years ago. Maternity is encouraged in various ways; and 
much prominence is given to the so-called "twilight 
sleep" — the painless DUmmerschlaf of Drs. Kronig and 
Gauss, of the Frauenklinik in Freiburg, where the scopo- 
lamin-morphine treatment has been long in vogue. Then 
Baby Week, with its literature of hygiene and infant aid, 
became a national institution; it was proposed by the 
General Federation of Women's Clubs and welcomed by 
the Public Health officials in thirty-nine States. Next 
came Mother's Day, with its white carnation badge and 
homage in the home to "the best woman who ever lived." 
President Wilson proclaimed the first celebration, after a 
special resolution in both Houses of Congress. 

But all this deference does not alter the fact that mother 
has a hard time of it as a housekeeper in the cities; she 
is very far indeed from being the toy and tyrant of man as 
set forth in the German papers. Even living in common 
brings her up against petty tj'ranny and graft on the part 
of janitors. Lack of steam heat and hot water leads to 
unseemly squabbles and "rent strikes"; there are dis- 
putes about the lifts which you would never suspect. For 
example — is Baby in her car to go up by the main shaft, 
or be relegated to the garbage-hoist, with the groceries 
and the coal? I was in the New York Supreme Court 
when such a case was fiercely fought out between landlord 
and tenant. On the other hand, to run a home on British 
lines means that the housewife must do her own work, for 
the American servant is a contradiction in terms, the alien 
charlady a trial too bitter to be borne. It is surprising 
what shifts even families of a good class are put to by this 
problem. Chinese and Japanese boys have been tried with 
poor success; and as for the negro maid, her "goings- 
on" would knock the breath out of a reformatory super- 
intendent. 

I have referred to electric devices in the home, from 



190 AMERICA'S DAY 

shaving-mugs to raisin-seeders. "Nobody," declared Dr. 
Eliot of Harvard, "should be employed upon a task which 
a machine can perform": this is a very American maxim. 
Certainly the city housewife looks for universal service 
from the button at her bedside, which starts the day by get- 
ting breakfast without any drudgery at all. "Free your- 
self from the tyranny of servants" is a clarion note of the 
electric companies to the women. "Get more time for 
recreation — for worth-while family life and the things you 
really want to do." 

Now, as the finer vessel, the American woman does lean 
to the higher things. She wants to read the best books, 
to stud3^ music, and wander through Europe on the edu- 
cational tour. Quite likely there is a husband to polish — 
an earnest climber whose youth had known nothing of 
art. "My carving was done at the wood-pile," he owns 
with a new regret. Such a man will stand before the 
costly Corot with the scoffer's "Only trees and water!" 
Or he will agree with Walpole that the Divine Comedy 
is like "the ravings of a Methodist parson in Bedlam." 

Therefore much is expected of the women in matters of 
culture and taste. It is for them that the Mentor Club is 
formed, with a conversational course, "which enables you 
to ignite a dinner party at fifty 3 T ards with Familiar Wild 
Flowers, Three Weeks in Rome, and The Pictures We Love 
to Live with." I find this an admirable tendency, though 
it make the superior person smile. There is a story told 
of a farmer's wife in Missouri, who wrought classic sculp- 
ture in butter, as her familiar medium. Mrs. B sent a 

Sleeping Iolanthe to the Paris Exhibition. It was politely 
rejected by the Art Committee, and sent down to the Dairy 
Products section, where it wilted when the warm weather 
came, and comically disappeared. 

Yet ridicule falls with broken sting before the childlike 
purpose of these people, and their naive pursuit of nobler 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 191 

things, when the get-ahead game is over. Before the war 
one met American girls of quite humble origin in Milan, 
studying opera under a maestro of unconscionable fees. 
But then America and millions are convertible terms in the 
Continental mind. In far-off Prague I found American 
girls in Sevcik's violin school in the Lindengasse. The 
Bohemian hermit took thirty kronen for an hour's lesson 
from the Chicago school-marm, who had saved her money 

for ten years in view of this tuition. Miss R went 

back at last in a low-necked gown that showed the "Sevcik 
mark," a little bruise that bore witness to eight hours' 
practice every day. It was the women who in pre-war 
days organized the grand tour abroad from Killarney to 
Darjeeling; from the Rue de la Paix to Plato's Academe 
in Athens — that mangy mound of picnic litter and tawdry 
memorials. Who was so frank as the American over the 
disenchantment of foreign travel? 

The month of May saw the Exodus begin from New 
York City. There were more than a hundred magnificent 
ships in the service, and in ten weeks $7,000,000 was col- 
lected in fares. For many years the "See America First" 
movement was little more than a voice in the wilderness 
of joy. But with Europe closed, the tourists overran their 
own continent, climbing the Rockies instead of the Alps, 
taking cures at Hot Springs and Paso Robles ; camping out 
in the Maine woods, and spearing giant tuna in the Pacific 
off Santa Cruz. 

"Discover America" was now a shrewd appeal. "Swit- 
zerland is ringed with armies," the holiday folk were 
warned. "The peaks of Tyrol bristle with guns, so turn 
this year to Colorado and the Garden of the Gods." This 
America did, increasing the railway revenues by $326,- 
401,568. Hotels and farmers, ranchers and innkeepers, all 
had handsome hauls. 

The "Discover America" literature of this year is cun- 



192 AMERICA'S DAY 

ningly addressed to Mother and the Girls; and patriot 
ladies support the movement with diverting tales of travel 
disillusion. What a fraud the Orient was after all, with 
dirt and squalor in the Christ-shrines, and in hotel beds 
"old warriors with plated hacks" of a less heroic breed than 
Milton had in mind. . . . Here was the great Sikh, Patiala, 
striding down the platform at Charing Cross to his car — an 
incongruous figure for London town in flowered silks and a 
chaplet of roses. The Mikado had sent his palanquin to the 
Uyeno Museum ; today that divinity shot forth in a racing 
Twin-Six which could climb the castle wall "on high with- 
out a knock." Then reviewing her tour in India, Mother 
was sarcastic over a call upon the Rajah of Faridkot, a 
model State studded with schools, grain elevators, and other 
agencies of hustle. The gorgeous nautch was non-existent 
in Shahadpur; its place was taken b} r a movie-show which 
exposed the evils of booze in the most rabid Kansan man- 
ner. 

So it was better to stay at home and do the Grand 
Canyon, the Big Trees, and Spouting Geysers, which no 
age withered nor custom staled. Americans abroad — one 
of the Girls declared — went in vicious ruts beset with vul- 
garity and dollar-chasing fights all the way from the Giants' 
Causeway to the Pyramid of Cheops. In Rome itself there 
were Coney Island shows on the hoary Borghese acres. In 
all the capitals were noise and heat, hurry and smells, with 
sights which left the soul blind and the body limp in lands 
where ice-water and the shower-bath were extravagant 
wants. Nor was it true that ' ' English will carry you any- 
where"; or that the eontadini of Tuscany will fetch and 
carry at a bidding in Pennsylvania Deutsch. 

It is safe to say, however, that American armies of culture 
will always go abroad, even with the slim purse that boards 
in Bloomsbury and "does" artistic Paris from a five-franc 
pension in the wilds. As for the social climber, the cachet 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 193 

of foreign travel is as necessary to her as the name of Car- 
lier in a hat, or Worth or Paquin on the waistband of a 
gown. There are climbers of many grades, from the pro- 
vincial elegante of the Middle "West to the great lady of 
New York who aspires to the dazzling record of Mrs. J. J. 
Astor; that gifted hostess who received the King of Eng- 
land as a guest in her own home. 

It would take too long to trace even a modest climb, 
diverting as the stages are, and the many stumblings in 
unfamiliar ether. There are social sponsors, of course; 
openers of doors in which even the rattle of golden keys can 
spell disaster. But the whole career — this shooting and 
shining through the London season like a star, belongs to 
another world, marked with the milestones of Ascot and 
Cowes, the moors and the Carlsbad cure ; the Nice Carnival 
and a winter in Cairo, with orgies of dress and days of 
tumult too silly for belief in the deathful glare of 1918. 
This European triumph was very dear to the American 
woman, and doubtless will be again ; it was the subject of 
cable matter to the New York papers, often with portraits 
of the victors and spicy details of intrigues and vying: 
"Our stars must glister with new fires, or be — today 
extinct." But the men cared little for these costly cam- 
paigns; the uplift at home was more to them than social 
gains abroad, and the idea spread that wealth were best 
regarded as an instrument for the common good. 

Before the war the industrial king moved in a glare of 
publicity. His business deals were discussed in the papers, 
his cliques and projects, and the buzz of Wall Street rumour 
against him. The splendours of his wife were set down 
with Pharasaic micrology. Her ocean-going yacht was 
expressed in dollars and cents, its silver fittings and grand 
saloons ; its crew of sixty men ; a French chef in the galley, 
and on the shade deck a dozen Japanese valets in white silk 
tending men of awesome name on Astor Cup Day in the 



194 AMERICA'S DAY 

Sound. Parade and pageantry at Newport was the papers' 
untiring theme ; it was said to surpass all that went before, 
even in Byzantium or Bagdad. It was always the women 
who willed these modish stunts, whether as breaker-in upon 
the established powers, or as an arrivee of austere magnifi- 
cence, more or less securely throned. The man was 
acquiescent and no more, having interests of his own in the 
home town or in the office. 

Yet when success came he strayed joyward with the rest 
on conventional lines; in no country has the say-so of 
Fashion such unquestioned sway. The new millionaires sat 
to visiting painters, men who came over from Europe to 
give a pompous rendering of business humanity; then they 
boomed the portrait like professional barkers outside a 
show. For this was a further boost and counted in the 
social climb. Mother and the Girls favoured Art in like 
manner, so that suave painter-immigrants reaped a golden 
harvest with unsubtle and sentimental brushes. There was 
La Gandara and Chartran, Mucha the Czech, Zorn the 
Swede, Thaddeus the Irishman, and Boldini the Paris- 
Italian, who paints chiffons divinely and sets the insipid 
maid on a full-length canvas as the heroine for bold 
dragoons. There should be rich stuff in the American 
memoirs of these visitors. 

Here I cannot escape Newport: it is amazing how this 
town has held American attention. For many years 
preachers and social reformers inveighed against its freak- 
ish riot. Newport life was the scandal and target of the 
masses all over the continent. "The expression we get of 
society in this place," Bishop Potter of New York used to 
say, "is quite beyond my comprehension." But it was 
well within the compass of reporters for the yellow press, 
who piled Pelion upon Ossa in preposterous yarns, as 
though the bare facts were not sufficiently absurd. 

On these Newport cliffs, tracts of rock and scrub have 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 195 

been sold by the square foot, as land might be around the 
Paris Opera or the Bank of England. Here "cottages" 
were built (like The Breakers) more stately than Dorches- 
ter House in Park Lane ; here castles of marble or granite 
sprang up in the desert — like Grey Crag, the massy pile 
which overlooks Sachuset Beach. As there was no shade, 
huge trees were tunnelled and uprooted far inland, then 
hauled to Newport by tractors and Italian gangs, to be 
planted on the sea-lawn of America's Crcesus. The for- 
mula for a cottage on Bellevue Avenue is "A million for 
the house, a million to furnish it, and $100,000 for a stone 
wall or a steel fence that would defy the safe-breaker." 

This exuberance needs a good deal of trimming, yet what 
remains is lavish enough ; it is a fact that the wall around 
Mr. Berwind's chateau cost a fortune. Nor can it be denied 
that Newport is the playground of America's plutocracy; 
a none too wholesome influence in the nation's life, con- 
sidering its antics and the devouring interest taken in them 
by the people, especially the women. When fortune smiled 
upon her man, Mrs. Break-in aspired to conquer Newport ; 
and press and pulpit never tired of her pushful manoeuvres. 
First of all the lady rents a cottage at $10,000 for the sea- 
son : this begins in late June, reaches the zenith in August, 
and trails away after the Horse Show in September. Then 
the elect move up to the Berkshire Hills — perhaps the love- 
liest spot in America, when the autumn blaze of woodlands 
beggars all description. 

But Newport remains unique among the resorts : it is the 
social citadel, its freedom and favour a precious guerdon 
bestowed upon very few. Dragons innumerable are here 
on watch ; and let it be said at once that money is powerless 
to move them. Man}- a prodigal spender knocks in vain at 
Ochre Court and The Crossways; the season fades without 
any hint of an Astor or Vanderbilt invitation. There is 
indeed small hope for neophytes of the rough diamond 



196 AMERICA'S DAY 

order; the Western woman who is just bon enfant and a 
good sort, brimming over with hospitality and faith. Many- 
such have played a waiting game at Newport and Palm 
Beach, aided by their Girls, who have no doubt attended the 
most exclusive (and expensive) of private schools. I refer 
here to the wives of mining magnates, or to those of men 
who made a fortune in munitions or the motor trade — or 
even in ways still more abrupt, like the produce gamble or 
an oil-strike in Texas or Oklahoma. Newport has no love 
for these sudden ladies; their career is not so much a climb 
as a rocketing, with inevitable fall in it from the first. 

Behold Mrs. Break-in receiving in a Bourbon salon of 
green and gold ; a merry and flaring soul in orchid brocade, 
with a social guide behind her, and in the kitchen a hierarch 
of pots and pans imported from Paris on his own terms. 
The lady's meat-bill is already $1700 a month, the retinue 
she brought with her a joy to the brigand tradesmen of 
the town. It was to resist the exactions of these that the 
richest members of the colony declared a boycott, and 
started markets of their own. Mrs. Break-in was at last 
shown checking her bills by the cartoonists of the Sunday 
papers, who knew the game by heart. She was discharging 
servants in desperation, or even cleaning her own tiara and 
cursing in Gehenna-torrents the butcher who sent twenty 
pounds of sirloin up to Reckless Castle and charged for a 
hundred on a crested and scented bill. 

Behind old Newport rises the twelve-mile avenue of 
mansions in which American women rule. Here are 
formal gardens such as Lenoir laid out for Josephine at 
Malmaison. There are alleys and hedges, exotic trees 
and colonnades; aviaries, pagodas and fountains, with 
classic nymphs outlined against park-like thickets. A 
striking feature of the colony is its hostility to casual 
trippers and sight-seers. The most tempting paths are 
blocked with "Private — Keep off!" Alert attendants 



"AN HELPMEET FOR IIIM" 197 

chase away the curious prowler who would invade the 
sanctity of Bailey's Beach, or survey the famous cottages 
from the street side. It was only the old law of Fisher- 
men's Rights that saved Cliff Walk for the public; and 
the city fathers were asked to move a road which exposed 
to vulgar gaze the luxurious bathing-huts of the rich. 

Some of the embassies have summer quarters here, and 
foreign diplomats play a leading part as arbiters of ele- 
gance and devisers of novel fetes. The mania for novelty 
spread like a sickness: the starter of a new craze was 
acclaimed with brazen smiting, for Newport abhorred 
monotony as Nature does a vacuum. There was competi- 
tion for the occult person with a turban and a mystic 
line of talk; he sat in a Chaldean boudoir, turning blood- 
red crystal and tracing life-lines that were badly tangled 
on the matrimonial side. 

Brahminism and Bahaism had their day; so did coach- 
ing and polo and golf. Auction bridge enjoyed unfading 
vogue, with losses and gains on a staggering scale. At ban- 
quets the lordliest dish was voted dull at last. Becasse a 
la riche and Truite saumone a la Monseigneur, these gave 
place to heathen plats — perhaps a Canton puppy with 
bamboo-shoots and birds' nests; shark-fins to follow, and 
sea-slugs with as many legs as a centipede. These Apician 
tricks, we are told, will never again be played after the 
purging of a world-war on unparalleled lines. However 
this may be, the recorder of social America notes a great 
advance in taste and interests. Gone for ever are the days 
when jaded guests waded in the public fountains of Balti- 
more, or played leap-frog in the Washington streets after 
a smart dance. 

Ten years ago the money-splash was rampant. The New- 
port hostess scoured history for spendthrift notions which 
should eclipse the Roman feasts of Horace and Petronius. 
Freakish pageants were weighed, from the "costlie brav- 



198 AMERICA'S BAY 

erie" of Elizabeth's wooing to the mindless whim of a 
former Gaekwar who spent a million rupees on the mar- 
riage of his favourite pigeon with one belonging to his 
Prime Minister. The great thing was to outshine one's 
neighbour and maintain a loud lead in lavish entertain- 
ing. No wonder the yellow press showed "How the Rich 
Live," with facts and figures procured from the Fifth 
Avenue shops. Here everything was set out, from Moth- 
er's rope of pearls to Baby's hundred-dollar doll, with its 
Paris hat and "fluffy undies" of fine silk and filmy lace. 

But apart from strident folly of this kind it is a mistake 
to suppose there is no American aristocracy. Families 
of rank and breeding maintain ancestral pride with rigid 
hauteur, as any one knows who has even a nodding 
acquaintance with the elite from Charleston up to Boston — 
where, as the satirist says, "a Cabot will only speak to a 
Lowell, and a Lowell only to his God!" "Your minds 
turn more to the past than ours do," Lord Northcliffe told 
America in a message of racy insight. And there is no 
abler or more intimate witness than he in matters relat- 
ing to the United States. "You have an astonishing cult of 
local antiquities, all the way from andirons to inscriptions 
on tombs. You have an incredible number of books 
devoted to family history, with lists of ancestors and 
enormous lists of descendants. You have also a unique 
array of patriotic clubs and societies — especially for 
women — to which nobody may belong unless descended 
from some special group of historic persons somewhere 
in the remote Colonial or Revolutionary past." Lord 
Northcliffe refers, of course, to such bodies as the Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution, whose chapters have been recruit- 
ing for the Army and Navy. There are also the Society of 
the Descendants of the Mayflower; the Society of the 
Colouial Wars and the Daughters of the Holland Dames, 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 199 

Descendants of the Ancient and Honourable Families of 
New York. 

The American woman's view of the war is worth noting. 
As onlookers they surveyed it for more than two years, 
paying little heed to the martial or mechanical sides — 
the hero who muffled a bomb with his body, or the sea- 
plane which torpedoed a ship from the air. It was the 
bleak agony of Europe's women which most impressed 
their sisters in the Great Republic. The wailing of Ger- 
man Klageiveiber, or Grumble-wives, such as shocked the 
Bavarian poet, Ganghofer, in letters found on the slain 
of his own side. "Barely a word of cheer," this recorder 
noted — "nothing but cries of misery and lamentation, with 
news of mutinous parade in the cities, and a shrill 'Give us 
back our men'; which defies the drawn sabres of the Berlin 
police." . . . "Our little Klauss has died of emaciation," 
was a typical passage from a letter found on a dead sol- 
dier. "And I should like those Herren of the Reichstag 
who tell us all is well, to have a look at my baby now." 

American women wept over these scraps of paper. 
They knelt with the girl-wife in the slime of France, as 
the Last Post died down, and men with arms reversed 
turned away their faces from a figure of shaking desola- 
tion. . . . "Where is he? . . . Am I too late? — Oh, my 
darling, come back to me, I can't live alone"! Such 
scenes moved American women profoundly. So did the 
opinions of great ladies like the Countess of Warwick, 
who dwells on the eternal battle between feminism and 
militarism; the bleak dismay and new knowledge forced 
upon suffragists "belonging to families with a great mili- 
tary record." 

"We must learn to hate war," American women were 
told by Ellen Kay, the Swede. "We must hand on the 
spark of hate till this evil thing is quenched for ever." 



200 AMERICA'S DAY 

The revolts of hospital nurses were weighed in the United 
States; the glee and gladness of the shabby mother whose 
son was yet alive, although half his face had been shot 
away. And likewise the awful nescience of her who turned 
from. God with unbearable ache: "If prayer was any 
use, would the child I bore with so much anguish have been 
torn limb from limb, and left to scream for death in a pool 
of filth and rats?" 

This woman-view was seen with stark clearness on the 
other side of the water. Here Jane Addams and Julia 
"Wales echoed Aletta Jacobs, the Dutch organizer, who 
called an International Congress at The Hague. "We 
women, ' ' Dr. Jacobs said, ' ' judge war from our own angle. 
The men consider economic results — the glory, power, 
and so on. But what are such things to us beside our 
husbands and sons, the fathers and brothers, who march 
out and never come back again?" Here no comfort is 
felt "because they died in honour's lofty bed." The 
great test has come to all the women. And today even 
the German mother is no Spartan, but a blasphemer, stand- 
ing with Death the reaper in the hortus siccus of a ghastly 
field. 

I have dealt elsewhere with the American farmer's wife 
and her slavish lot, which is in glaring contrast with that 
of the idle rich in Newport. Theodore Roosevelt received 
a letter from Mrs. Rube, in which her outlook upon war 
is expressed in artless terms: — 

"Dear Sir, — When you were talking of 'race suicide' 
I was rearing a large family on almost no income. I often 
thought of writing to you about my hardships, and now 
when 'preparedness' may take of my boys, I feel I must. 
I have eleven of my own, and brought up three step- 
children besides. Yet in all the thirty years of my married 
life, I have never had a new cloak or a winter hat. I have 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 201 

sent seven children to school at one time. I had a family 
of ten for eighteen years, with no money to hire a washer- 
woman — though bearing a child every two years. Nine 
of my children (several are through or nearly so), got into 
high-school; two reached the State Normal, and one the 
University of Michigan. 

"I haven't eaten a paid-for meal in twenty years, nor 
paid for a night's lodging in thirty years. Not one of my 
five boys — the youngest is fifteen — uses liquor or tobacco. 
I've worn men's discarded shoes; I've had little time 
for reading, so I think I have served my country. My 
husband has been an invalid for six years, leaving me the 
care and much of the work on our sandy little farm. Now 
I've bothered you enough. Only to me, race suicide has 
perhaps a different meaning when I think my boys may 
have to face the cannon. — Respectfully, 

"Mrs. " 

Mr. Roosevelt thought his correspondent more worthy 
of salute than "any colonel of a crack regiment." He 
could only instance Belgium, whose sons were helpless 
when their mothers and sisters were abused. He could 
but reassert that law rested on force alone, and that 
"Preparedness no more invited war than fire insurance 
invites a fire." Here feminism and militarism are seen in 
hopeless clash. What the claims of women may be when 
this scourge has passed is a theme beyond my present 
scope. Certainly American women add to a social sway 
already unique, new political power in a dozen States. 
As a live issue "Woman's Suffrage is endorsed by all parties, 
and may well be an important plank in the election of 1920. 
Girl workers of the sweat-shop talk about votes; it is in 
this direction that President Wilson seeks "new springs 
of democracy" . . . "that we may have fresh insight into 
all matters of social reform." 

I must deal briefly with the old "indictments" of candy, 



202 AMERICA'S DAY 

cars, and clothes. The consumption of sweetstuffs is, of 
course, enormous; in three decades the per capita stint of 
sugar rose from forty pounds to- over ninety. Dr. Eugene 
Fisk, of the Life Extension Institute, advised American 
girls to "Cut out candies and ice-cream sodas" if they 
would carry good looks and elegant figures into middle 
life. 

As to motors, these are counted by the million in the 
United States; quite humble folk will buy one, though it 
entail a mortgage upon their home. And as John N. 
Willys reminds us, "many refinements and conveniences 
of the best cars are due to woman's demands." "The final 
decision," this famous designer says, "often lies with a 
man's wife, or sweetheart or sister; so the woman's favour 
is a sovereign asset in the selling." For this reason the 
mechanism must be simple, for my lady loathes any 
"mussing or monkeying with the engine." All the adver- 
tisements dwell upon this, and the delights which should 
follow the touch of a button. "No exertion, no uncertainty, 
no bending over — an act which the well-groomed woman 
will ever resent." She will, indeed, for her corset's sake, 
rightly holding this garment as the basic truth of dress. 

I have no doubt that American women are the best- 
dressed of all, though they follow the caprice of Paris 
with superstitious zeal. In the first flight I place the 
cosmopolitan aristocracy of the Eastern States; these 
are catered for by such artists as Jean Worth and Madame 
Paquin; Paul Poiret, Doucet, and the great Felix, whose 
salons in the Faubourg were - thronged by the beauties 
immortalized by Balzac and de Musset. American women 
of today have much to do with settling the current vogue 
for the whole world. 

At stated seasons, buyers of unlimited credit and keen 
flair visit the grandes couturieres ; and great are the pow- 
wows held in sumptuary cabinets round about the Opera. 



"AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 203 

Here graceful mannequins parade upon a stage in splendid 
raiment, with footlights to show night effects to professional 
eyes of the New York and Chicago Dressmakers' Clubs. 
These visitors are by no means easily awed. They have 
minds of their own, and the caprice of millions to humour 
when they get home. So they suggest alteration or modi- 
fication. The Paris artist demurs, pleading inspiration 
from a sunset, an exotic flower, or some lovely portrait 
in the l T ffizi or the Louvre. In this manner is the model 
"fixed," and with it a season's fashion for the United 
States, with repercussion down as far as Rio and Buenos 
Aires. 

The say-so of Paris "goes" with American women of 
every grade. I was amused to hear the forewoman of a 
Baltimore factory testify in court that as skirts had 
become so short she had to wall her girls round with 
barrels so as not to distract the male operatives who 
worked near by! I am here reminded that Beauty and 
the Boss is a regular discussion in the New York papers, 
varying with the season and the modes. Hot weather 
brings out the famous "peekaboo blouse," a more or less 
diaphanous affair, and the anxious theme of employer 
and employed. "Does Docility go with Dimples?" is a 
typical headline, and both sides state their grievances 
and views. In other words, is the pretty girl a worth- 
while servant? And just what relation does the vanity- 
box bear to the pay-envelope at the week-end? Such 
matters are quite gravely weighed in the United States. 

Here also Dress is taken in the serious mood of the 
French, only there is far more spent on it. A designer like 
Lady Duff Gordon is struck with the aplomb and chic of 
the office girls in down-town New York. ' ' Nothing in 
Paris can touch them," is the testimony of this modiste. 
"They have plenty of money, as well as the spirit for 
fygariiig delightful clothes." Home dressmaking is forced 



204 AMERICA'S DAY 

upon American women because skilled service is scarce 
and dear. Besides, the individual is a clever contriver, 
with all manner of aids at her disposal, as one speedily 
learns in the Butterick skyscraper — an eighteen-storey 
workshop of fashion papers and patterns which cover the 
two Americas from Montreal to Montevideo. I will" not 
deny that these women lean to the bizarre in modes; they 
follow "the latest" with neuromimetic faith, whether in 
dress, new dances, or pastimes. 

The fact remains that they have a talent for adornment. 
Long ago discerning visitors like Rejane and Bernhardt 
found this out, and took home with them trunksful of New 
York creations. For many years American designers were 
aggrieved at their patrons' devotion to the Paris label. 
"If an earthquake levelled the Opera Quarter we'd have a 
chance," the Madison Avenue artist told me, with Cellini's 
own acceptance of a mad, bad world that forced ugly 
tricks upon the rarest craftsmen. "Our best people lay 
down the immutable law that tourists and trousseaux 
must cross each other on the seas. Right here in New 
York the creative impulse has a poor show. Rich women 
prefer to look a fright in a frock of Monsieur — without 
any regard to line or style or colour — than appear as a lur- 
ing and gracious figure in an American frock. It's really 
sad." So the dressmakers said. 

The great ladies maintained that New York was only 
a copyist and adapter, lacking the artistic atmosphere of 
Paris, and therefore obliged to import the models which 
it multiplied with such cunning and success. Some years 
ago Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish declared for Home Rule in 
Fashions, and war upon the French mark; the movement 
made a great to-do, because of the lad3 r 's rank. "We're 
like a lot of sheep," she declared abruptly. "We go over 
in droves and buy everything we wear, from silk hose to 
hats and frocks and jewels. Yet our own people have 



' 'AN HELPMEET FOR HIM" 205 

more skill and taste. I've often shown a French fitter 
how to pin a gown so as to get the best effects." . . . 
American modistes and couturieres assuredly came into 
their own during the war, reaping and sowing in the flush 
time, and profiting — it may be permanently — by the stop- 
page of ocean traffic. 



CHAPTER XII 

PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 

"Especially in your country does it exert immense influence on the 
public mind." — Pope Benedict XV to his American interviewer. 

The front-page Person who sets out for America pre- 
pares for a stiffish ordeal, as one does who embarks for 
the Equator or the North Pole. But no vicarious hint, 
no experience at second hand, can make real the endless 
siege which a grand tour of the United States entails upon 
the distinguished visitor. Three royal names occur to 
me in this connection: Prince Henry of Prussia, Prince 
Louis of Battenburg, and the Duke of Abruzzi. It is 
safe to say these sailors will never forget New York, with 
night and day assaults upon their peace and patience, 
which baffled every known strategy. The stay of each 
of these was an orgiastic whirl not to be conceived by 
the European ; an epos of stormy joy beyond the power 
of sober words. Those bulky mail-sacks, with epistles 
from soulful girls — and queer abuse from anarchist dives 
in the Black Belt of Chicago ! Specimens of cigars and 
ties that sought a swell christening were sent along for 
the Lord High Admiral's blessing. So was the Semi- 
Ready suit, which was none the less "personal as a billet- 
doux; tailored entirely by hand, with intimate touches 
and endearments of individual effort in each hidden stitch 
and high-caste line." 

There was a time when cynical and scandalous comment 
in the press drove prominent Americans abroad and kept 
them there. The ablest men were barred from a political 

206 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 207 

career through fear of the newspapers. The Trust magnate 
saw his career dissected with frigid scorn ; his 'cute law- 
honesty and stock- watering ; his Borgian virtu, and the 
glorious villainies which had marked his rise to greatness. 
At no time could the reporter be evaded. Nor was he to 
be suppressed or censored, as the Government itself has 
lately found, and therewith bowed to a puffing humour 
which "put it over" on George Washington himself in 
the long ago. One day the Liberator attended a Council 
with a copy of the National Gazette, a lewd and daring 
sheet edited by Philip Freneau, who held a clerkship in 
the State Department under Jefferson. "That rascal," 
said Washington to his colleagues, "has been sending me 
three copies of his paper every day, as if he thought I 
would become the distributor of them." He probably 
did — especially as the Father of his Country was vilely 
abused in that day's issue! Freneau 's paper died an 
appropriate death in the yellow fever outbreak of Phila- 
delphia in 1793. 

You cannot awe the American scribe. He pursues the 
biggest game with a child-like trust in the due and license 
which have never failed him; we saw these conceded in 
the first two years of war, when "big things" rained upon 
the American press until the veterans were sated. The 
New Yorker chatted informally with kings, as none other 
could do. Foreign Offices received him gladly, from 
the Quai d'Orsay to the mysterious Bab-i-Ali above the 
Golden Horn. Chancellors and Ministers gave exclusive 
stories to the Yankee, leaving the native scribe to pout 
with a sense of slight and chagrin. But New York was 
in no way elated, accepting each prize as a matter of 
course. In Berlin old Zeppelin was interviewed upon the 
aerial raids. Von Tirpitz was America's authority for 
the submarine exploits; at home Edison was asked about 
electric cures for all the curses of a chemical war. 



208 AMERICA'S DAY 

It was to a Hearst man that the Crown Prince wept 
over the havoc and slaughter he had seen. At the Sublime 
Porte the Grand Vizier shook his hoary head over Veni- 
zelos; and complained about the Sherif of Mecca who hid 
the treasure of the Holy Places — a tidy sum, aud one 
sorely needed by the Porte in a hungry time. America 
was bombarded with the sayings and sentiments of august 
Persons who had never previously spoken for publication. 
Newspaper envoys flitted back and forth in Europe with 
a naive thirst for knowledge. As it happened, all the 
belligerents were anxious to humour him ; so from end to 
end the firmament of war fairly blazed with American stars, 
tackling jobs which in 1914 were not even office dreams, 
but mere pia desideria too silly for editorial thought. 

But of all the stunts, all the resounding scoops (how the 
English language limps behind them ! ) none quite equals 
that twenty minutes which the World man had with the 
Pope "in his magnificent private library on the second 
floor of the Vatican": there a Maestro di Camera trans- 
lated, as the Keeper of the Kej's delivered his prayer and 
plea — "that this terrible carnage with its attendant 
horrors and misery may soon cease." That famous inter- 
view gave rise to caustic comment abroad. The Papal 
Secretary of State tried to explain "misunderstandings"; 
the Austrian prelate who arranged the audience was 
censured and dismissed. Certain it is that the Vatican 
was embarrassed by this Park Row feat. Dom Gasquet, 
the Benedictine historian, found the Pope depressed over 
the affair — and no doubt prejudiced against American 
reporters. But how came this New York Worldling to 
glide by the noble guards and arch-priests, the purple 
monsignori and princes of the Curia, who fence the Sover- 
eign Pontiff from the passing show? There was a prec- 
edent, it seems, and the World man played it well. Leo 
XIII (the American urged) had received Jim Creelman at 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 209 

no fateful time; so Pope Benedict might well speak to a 
liunded million neutrals through thirty thousand news- 
papers, all the way from Tallahassee to Spokane. Now 
what were the war-aims and views of the Holy Father? 

To say that America believes in publicity is to state a 
fact too feebly. Publicity is America's blood and breath. 
The President is bound by it; a President's coffin cannot 
escape it. I have before me a page advertisement of the 
Springfield Metallic Casket, which at Canton, 0., keeps 
the remains of Mr. and Mrs. McKinley "from the viola- 
tion of the earth." Never before have I seen coffins 
flaunted in seventy-five styles, with hardware to match, 
and "burglar-proof vaults," which are surely peculiar to 
America. You will find all about them in a lavish cata- 
logue called "The Final Tribute," which shows the funeral 
pomp of all mankind, from that of a Kansas Senator to 
the hairy Ainu of Yezo. This macabre business may be 
in doubtful taste, but it is gleefully characteristic. Down 
in Birmingham, Ala., I was handed an undertaker's card 
with the gay-grim legend: "I'll get you yet!" On the 
other side was this consolation: "But you'll have all the 
attention you'd expect from a friend." 

This matter of publicity, I must own, appals me at 
the outset. The gleam of Liberty's torch, high over 
Bedloe's Island, is somewhat dimmed, when I reflect 
that a newspaper lit it, with the aid of Henry Doherty 
and the Society for Electrical Development. A great 
city like Baltimore takes space in the magazines beside 
the breakfast cereal and the safety razor. And the text 
tells you why. "Ask Charles M. Schwab, of the Bethlehem 
"Works, who is spending $50,000,000 here to establish the 
largest steel plant on the Atlantic seaboard." A smaller 
town like Kenosha, Wis., makes a most modest bid for 
your plant and personal energy. "She offers low freights, 
lake transport, intelligent labour, and cheap electric 



210 AMERICA'S DAY 

power." All over the continent statesmen and society 
leaders have their own halo-polishers in the press. A 
Presidential election is the most colossal task of all for 
the publicity expert. He has a cabinet of movie-men, 
an army of orators in a dozen tongues, including Magyar, 
Yiddish, and Greek. 

He partly edits ten thousand papers by means of extra 
matter supplied in plate, and matrix, and proof. He 
inspires a corps of cartoonists day by day, till the whirl- 
wind finish rings out a blast of challenge from the rival 
camps. Then it is that the best writers open fire with 
pile-driving boosts for either candidate. No wonder the 
Campaign Headquarters is like a great post office gone 
mad. The Boss of all is now firing salvoes with a range 
of three thousand miles; his target is nine million votes, 
scattered from the Great Lakes to the Gulf and from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. America revels in the 
strife which Success entails; the Edison formula for it is 
"two per cent, inspiration, and ninety -eight per cent, 
perspiration." Repose seems to mean stagnation in this 
vivid land. One must do and drive, if one is to rank 
among the live wires of business; how many American 
figures of speech are drawn from electricity, railroads, and 
mechanics? 

The same qualities are looked for in the man as in the 
car — "power and pep, pick-up and snap"; I quote from 
an advertisement before me. "Life is too good to waste," 
the American gloats — and wastes himself in the using 
of it. "If I can't make sixty-one minutes to the hour, 
it won't be for want of trying!" It must be that extra 
minute which the foreign visitor finds so wearing — even 
the militant suffrage lady who never knew defeat before. 
Poor Mrs. Pankhurst, hunted by reporters, hid from them 
on the dock near the outward bound Saxojiia, and went 
on board at the last moment only to find the pressmen 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 211 

waiting at her stateroom door! "I am very tired, and 
wish to lie down," was an appeal which even the sob- 
sisterhood respected. 

That great soldier, Marshal Joffre, must have felt like 
that when he left New York for home : 

"Un gros rus£ compare 
Qui cachait bien son jeu." 

He was a jusqu'au boutist in that American Press cam- 
paign; temperamental calm sustained him, and the "II 
faut tenir bon," which one notes in his early letters; 
that motto goes back to Colonel Joffre 's trials among the 
Touareg of Timbuktu. The Allied Missions were made 
up of men who dislike publicity, yet they took naturally 
to democratic ways. Witness Mr. Balfour sitting on a 
box in the foc's'le of the Mayflower, chatting with the 
sailors, and handing out cigars on the way up the Potomac 
to Mount Vernon and Washington's Tomb. 

The front-page Person is never allowed out of the public 
eye; he must always be on show for anecdote, opinions, 
and appraisal. "Not quite my type," was Walt Whit- 
man's verdict on John Morley. "Not the letting-it-go 
kind. Rather too judicial; still, quite a man." Visitors 
nowadays show more tact and understanding than Dickens 
did in 1841. His American Notes gave umbrage to his 
inquisitive hosts — though Dickens did his best to placate 
them during a second tour after the Civil War. The 
famous Person is apt to become fogged with incense and 
deafened with the feast of trumpets. ' Cocktails are named 
after him; he eats and drinks too much, and gets very 
little sleep. 

The flashlight fiend will take even genius unawares. 
There are shorthand scribes who report the statesman 
falsely, leading off with an Epictetus maxim, and winding 
up with prize-ring praise of the orator, — "he carried a 



212 AMERICA'S DAY 

wallop like the kick of a mule!" One of these days 
perhaps Mr. Balfour will tell us of his pilgrimage with 
penetrating play, and that charity of the mind which is a 
sympathetic vision. It cannot be said of him, as it was 
of Canning, that he was a "ballroom failure"; a stingy 
talker, and no ladies' man. I am always expecting some 
Lucretian epicure to return from the United States and 
write a classic book which shall be a joy to us all, alike 
in the Old World and the New. Even Lord Bryce remarks 
the noise and tremor which accompany American life. 
He compares this people to a tree "whose pendulous 
shoots quiver and rustle with the lightest breeze, while its 
roots enfold the rock with a grasp which storms cannot 
loosen." The rustling, at any rate, is demonstrable by 
a mania for publicity, which is all persuasive and unique. 
"Is church advertising as necessary and fruitful as it is 
in business?" was a question put to seventy-eight factors 
of all denominations. And seventy-five answered, "Yes, 
it is." But Barnum methods are over, it seems; the 
Religious Press Advertising Bureau warns its wire-pullers 
against "aping the circus billboards." . . . "The Church 
does not run a bargain counter; and in our judgment 
she soon reaches the limit of legitimate publicity. Is it 
not still true that regenerated men and women are our 
best showing? After all, the real Gospel is our main 
attraction; and we doubt whether any side lines will 
bring us a nobler profit." The boomer of 1918 is a skilled 
psychologist as well as an artist of Rossini's own exuber- 
ance: "He could set to music a page of advertisements!" 
Everything in heaven and earth, from the night sk}' to 
Niagara Falls, has been pressed into selling service. 
Landscape and mountain are made hideous with mammoth 
"calls" from chewing gum and spotless cleansers. There 
is a good deal of feeling, I must say, against this viola- 
tion; it is passing in the new Day. Less odious, even 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 213 

masterly, is the phrasing and display of advertisements in 
the newspapers and magazines. Besides these, the trade 
appeals of other lands look anaemic. 

Great musicians who visit America are all the better 
for eccentricity of person, however pure and perfect their 
art may be. A great soprano will permit the boys to 
invade her hotel suite; on Sunday morning the lady is 
stupefied to read — not indeed an interview, but a signed 
article b}' herself on "Singing Shorn of Its Mysteries"! 
As for the President, his "public" life is not so wearing 
as it was. I have known Roosevelt retire to bed with a 
bruised hand and aching neck after two thousand hand- 
shakes at a garden fete. The White House of 1918 has 
no more welcome for casual callers than Buckingham 
Palace has, or the Elysee. But in Jackson's day a 
reception drew ungovernable mobs to the Executive Man- 
sion which "belonged to all the people." Old Hickory 
could never have foreseen the result of his first free 
lunch. When he opened the doors his admirers surged 
in and trod his cheeses into a greasy pulp on the East 
Room carpet. The chipping of furniture for souvenirs; 
the removal of statuettes, cutlery, cups, and glasses — 
here was an enthusiastic vice w r hich lasted up to Roose- 
velt's term. The Colonel and his lady worked wonders 
in White House reform. They put a stop to a traffic in 
invitations which brought seven hundred guests to a sup- 
per for three hundred, and drove a hungry President 
to raid his wife's larder for cold pie and pickles in the small 
hours. 

America was rather restive over the war-time sovereignty 
which the Federal Government assumed. Thus a Press 
Censorship clause was inserted in the Espionage Bill with a 
view to ensuring reticence in regard to the plans and armed 
forces of the nation. Most of the newspapers, the Presi- 
dent was glad to say, put national safety before mere news. 



214 AMERICA'S DAY 

At the same time there were "some persons who cannot be 
relied upon, and whose interest or desires may prove highly 
dangerous to the country at this time." The penalty for 
indiscretion was a fine of $10,000 and ten years in gaol. 
Here was a revolutionary move in a land where the Press 
had unbridled power; it is not surprising that the Senate 
added a proviso that: "Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to limit or restrict any discussion, comment or 
criticism of the acts or policies of the Government or its 
representatives, or the publication of the same." 

There were statesmen in that debate who had no illusions 
about the sacred mission of the Press. Senator Pomerene 
of Ohio quoted articles "so treasonable that had they been 
published in other countries the editors would have been 
shot." "Some people," mused Mr. Stone, the Chairman of 
the Committee on Foreign Relations, "seem to think there 
is something about a journalist which puts him above the 
law. I cannot understand why these men should be allowed 
to prowl at large after information." This is the view of 
a new aristocracy ; it is by no means that of the masses, to 
whom the Press is a mighty abstraction, a more than 
Roman imperium, dancing through American history with 
the large exuberance of Liberty herself. American re- 
porters and men of letters enjoy greater favour and for- 
tune. Every avenue of public life is open to them. Presi- 
dent Wilson won early renown as historian and biographer ; 
he also wrote for the papers in his Princeton days. 

Roosevelt passed from the White House to the office of 
The Outlook; and among Foreign Ministers who were 
writers too, I need only name John Hay and Mr. Bryan, 
who has been a journalist all his life. Colonel W. E. Edge, 
the Governor of New Jersey, was manager of the Atlantic 
City Press. Governor Cox of Ohio was first a farmer's 
boy, then a printer, and finally the owner of the Dayton 
Daily News. Reporters, publishers, and poets are rated as 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 215 

men of affairs, and appointed to important embassies and 
legations abroad. Mr. Whitelaw Reid, who lived in regal 
state among us, was for many years editor of the New York 
Tribune. And I first met his successor, Mr. Walter Page, 
in the office of The World's Work, which he directed, being 
at the same time a partner in a publishing house of high 
repute for the quality of its books and periodicals. The 
Ambassador to Russia, Mr. David R. Francis, owns the 
St. Louis Republic; Dr. Henry van Dyke, lately at The 
Hague, is a poet and essayist of international renown. 
The list could be extended surprisingly. 

Enormous fortunes are made by men who own news- 
papers and periodicals ; this is mainly due to the advertise- 
ments, which account for nearly ninety-five per cent, of the 
revenue. So cunning are these announcements, so artistic 
and lavish in scale, that there can be no reasonable com- 
parison with the advertising of any other nation. The 
total sum spent in this way must exceed $500,000,000, yet 
this is by no means the money-measure of American pub- 
licity and salesmanship, which bring into play all the 
wiles and guiles, all the faith and hope and vigour of the 
national genius. 

A million dollars is nothing for a breakfast-food cam- 
paign or the launching of a new car. The New York 
department stores contract for daily columns by the thou- 
sand; and $5000 is no startling price to pay for the "posi- 
tion" page of a magazine. The ability shown in advertis- 
ing, the close watch upon results, the psychologic study 
and high pay given for text and pictures — these are mat- 
ters to amaze the foreign expert who scans the page with 
knowledge of price and "pulling power" — say in the Sat- 
urday Evening Post or the Ladies' Home Journal of Phila- 
delphia. As literary properties, apart from the daily 
papers, I consider these the most valuable in any country; 
and the last-named deserves special mention as a factor in 



216 AMERICA'S DAY 

the uplift of women's lot. I know no agency — political, 
civic, or social — which is such a power for good as the 
Ladies' Home Journal; though to understand this calls 
for intimate grasp of rural and provincial life in the 
United States. 

The daily papers, with their overwhelming Sunday 
supplements, have to a large extent dropped those "yellow" 
features which made them so offensive to Americans of the 
better sort. "It is the task of a live newspaper," one was 
told, "to raise the devil in some way every day." Hence 
the craving for stunts, for daring personals and prurience, 
which the European could only survey with awe, seeing men 
defamed and women mocked for the fleeting amusement of 
the mob. This ugly phase belongs to the past. The 
monthlies, too, have given up the so-called "muck-raking" 
articles, of which the most notable was Miss Ida Tarbell's 
history of the Standard Oil concern. To attack the Trusts 
was once a paying vogue; to expose municipal graft and 
big business grabs, as well as the careers of industrial kings, 
their coups and counter-plots, which were cynical and 
crooked reading in the literature of power. 

This missionary zeal is an American tradition ; it was 
defined by Joseph Pulitzer, when he bought the bankrupt 
New York World in May 1883, after its failure as a relig- 
ious journal. 

Government by the newspapers was of real use in Boss 
Tweed's outrageous day; it is out of place in President 
"Wilson's, and that of State Governors of a new type. 
Thus I find a fervid Churchman as Chief Executive in 
Maine, a Socialist farmer in North Dakota, a Doctor of 
Philosophy in Arkansas, and University men in Illinois and 
Indiana. It was already a changed America which took 
up the Prussian challenge; and since that day the all- 
absorbing theme has been Democracy's War, and the new 
world-order that must come after it. 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 217 

From the very first — three centuries ago, indeed — the 
hunting of news was known for a prime sport. In 1680 
Ben Harris of Boston resolved "to furnish the Country once 
a month (or if any glut of Publick Occurrences happen, 
oftener) with an account of such considerable Things as 
have arrived unto our Notice." In Colonial days, the 
papers had a lively time. There was British censure and 
stern visitation upon offenders; there were inter-office wars 
and editorial duels with bludgeon and pistol and pen. The 
famous Stamp Act killed many aspiring sheets. Among 
these the Pennsylvania Journal died with mournful glee — 
"In the pious hope of Resurrection, having departed this 
life on the 31st of October, 1765, through a Stamp in the 
vital parts." There were forty -nine of these casualties 
before American independence was won. 

I must pass over the journalism of Revolutionary days, 
when the Boston bell-cart went through the streets collect- 
ing rags (at 10/ a lb.!) which a primitive mill made into 
paper for the Massachusetts Spy. Ink and type — any sort 
of a press — these were hard to come by in the new Republic. 
Moreover, readers were so few and shy that the seven dailies 
of New York could only muster a circulation of 9420 
between them. Yet it was always natural for the Press to 
lead the nation. The big editor was already a political boss 
who took himself very seriously. "You must try to elect 
the President without me," cried old Sol. Smith of The 
Independent, with tears rolling down his massy cheeks. 
Sol. was just then amalgamating a couple of papers, so for a 
season America had to lose the guidance of her inky Tsar. 

The birth of the Sun in 1833, the forming of the Asso- 
ciated Press in '48, and the invention of Colonel Hoe's 
machine are landmarks in the newspaper history of New 
York. Sunday papers were long resisted in the Puritan 
spirit; on the other hand, all attempts to establish a relig- 
ious daily were foredoomed to failure. As a preaching 



218 AMERICA'S DAY 

sheet the Sun was a poor concern ; the original founders of 
the World withdrew from an uplift venture with a loss of 
$200,000. With sensational coups and headlong vying 
for public favour — like that between the Herald and the 
Sun — I have little space to deal. There was no such tiling 
as a dull season for news. When facts were few, reporters 
eyed the moon itself with wistful impulse that begot a 
monstrous yarn, which was fathered upon Sir John 
Herschel, who at the time was out of the way in South 
Africa. The astronomer was supposed to have viewed 
the moon through a new and mighty telescope which 
revealed weird valleys and forests, stupendous temples and 
strange birds winging stranger way over rivers paved with 
gold. It was Locke of the Sun who wrote the famous 
Moon Hoax, and the watchful Herald demolished it. 

I suppose the Herald is the richest of newspaper prop- 
erties. Its founder, the elder Gordon Bennett, was a 
humble proof-reader down in Charleston, S. C. How he 
borrowed $500, and produced the first number in a Wall 
Street cellar, at a desk made of bits of board upon two 
barrels, is a classic instance of American hustle. Bennett 
did everything himself. He secured advertisements and 
financial news. He haunted theatres and clubs for social 
stuff; at four in the morning he was writing leaders, or 
else sweeping and dusting out his editorial cave. All 
things were made to serve the Herald; an infernal 
machine addressed to the editor, or an assault upon his 
person by a visiting crank ; the first gold of the Californian 
rush ; and episodes of the Civil War, with its corps of Her- 
ald correspondents, who had $100,000 to spend. These men 
wrote of Union victories on the backs of rebel State bonds 
and Confederate scrip of enormous face value. So scarce 
was paper at that time, that more than half the Southern 
journals suspended publication. Others used crude wall- 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 219 

papers, with the news on one side and gaudy floral patterns 
on the other. 

Under Gordon Bennett's son the Herald attained a 
wider renown, notably by the sending of Stanley to meet 
Livingstone at Ujiji. But it is Horace Greeley who stands 
out as the most powerful and truculent figure of the 
American Press. It was the dream of his life to own a 
newspaper; so far back as 1833 we find the man touring 
New York and boring young editors with his views on a 
one-cent paper of vast politico-social sway. Greeley was 
laughed at, of course. He started the Morning Post on a 
cash capital of $150, a promise of $200 worth of paper, 
and an agreement with a cautious printer to settle for the 
composing every week. After three stormy settlements 
the Post died out amid general execration. Greeley was 
now a precarious free-lance; he was also a Voice hired on 
easy terms by shady politicians at the State Capitol up in 
Albany. Yet this hack could bring out the Tribune on a 
mysterious thousand dollars, and the moral backing of 
petty statesmen who had faith in his stormy talent. The 
first number was published in 1841 with a lofty flourish 
which was not upheld. "No immoral or degrading police 
reports" were to pollute Horace Greeley's page; the Tri- 
bune was to reflect only "the virtuous and refined." 

The famous pressman gloried in a fight and had recourse 
to the queerest circulation methods. He "donated" 
strawberry plants and steel engravings of himself, which 
gave his rivals scope for the drollest scurrility. In the 
summer of '63 the Tribune office was besieged by a mur- 
derous mob, and Greeley took refuge in a refrigerator. 
These riots were due to Lincoln's drafts for soldiers; and 
they broke out afresh in the following year. But already 
schooled in violence, the Times and Tribune now mounted 
real artillery on their office roofs. There were editor-gun- 



220 AMERICA'S DAY 

ners turning off real thunder, with ingenious hoists for the 
ammunition. 

Greeley 's fort was now stuffed with giant reels of paper ; 
he poked Minie rifles out of loopholes, and had handy 
openings for grenades to be thrown at storming parties. 
Such was New York journalism during the Civil War. 
Henry Raymond of the Times is a familiar type, akin to 
Gordon Bennett and the rest. Here is Raymond writing 
his first leader in a windowless loft by the light of a gutter- 
ing candle stuck on three nails in a wooden block. "It'll 
take five years," he said, "to put my bantling on its legs." 
He was soon greeting Kossuth on Staten Island, and devis- 
ing stunts that put the Herald in the shade, and eclipsed the 
Sun itself. 

It was the Times that shocked New York with revelations 
of the Tweed Ring, giving figures from the City Comp- 
troller's books to show the huge extent of the looting. 
One item was $5,663,646 for "repairs and furniture for a 
new Court-House." In vain was a bribe of a million dol- 
lars offered to the Times; and so ingrained was graft 
that Bill Tweed surveyed the whole exposure with a bored 
indifference — "Well, what are you going to do about it?" 
was a classic question of the Boss. After Ra3 r mond of the 
Times, comes Pulitzer of the World, who once slept out on 
the park benches as a homeless hobo. It was this man's 
"Yellow Kid" whose antics in the Sunday paper moved 
Dana of the Sun to condemn "Yellow journalism" for the 
first time. Pulitzer was in turn defeated by the rich 
Calif ornian, W. R. Hearst, who coaxed away the World 
staff, including the Yellow Kid artist, who was offered a 
Presidential salary. 

Whatever may be thought of Hearst and his chain of 
papers — there can be no denying the skill and mob- 
knowledge with which they are conducted. None others 
approach them in circulation. None pay so lavishly for 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 221 

pictures and stories, whether news of the day or science 
and society features for the Sunday sections. The Hearst 
papers, as all Americans know, have their own code of 
ethics, and upon this I need not dwell. Setting aside 
questions of decency and taste, the Hearst journals are 
marvels of popular appeal; it is absurd to ignore them 
when considering the influences that sway the mixed peo- 
ples of the United States. Moreover, it is incontestable 
that Hearst motives and methods — political and social, 
technical and professional — have moved certain of our own 
papers to a discreet and pallid emulation of stunts and 
hunts, adapted to our less impressionable people. 

Press publicity is quite a modern weapon, one forced 
upon the British Government like the flame-thrower and 
the chlorine-cylinder. It went against our grain, yet 
could not be ignored without serious disadvantages. So 
at last we find our Foreign Office receiving the American 
"boys," as President Wilson does after the Friday Cabinet 
in Washington. An interview with the British Prime 
Minister, our Foreign Secretary, or First Lord was no 
longer an impossible stunt, but a frequent fact, with big 
headlines and editorial comment when the feature reached 
New York. Even in Paris the rigid Protocol of the Quai 
d'Orsay so far unbent as to form a "Comite de 1 'Effort de 
la France et de ses Allies," which was to counteract the 
world-wide ferment which centred in Berlin. 

This covert arm of the Kriegsamt was for many years 
run by Dr. Otto Hammann, the supple tool of Hohenlohe, 
von Biilow and Bethmann-Hollweg. It was Hammann \s 
work to create the "atmosphere of Victory" which should 
go before the German legions like a cloud of tire, tinging 
a timorous world with awe and admiration. Whether 
Britain and her friends will ever equal or surpass that 
Berlin Bureau is unlikely. 

The stealing away of its "atmosphere" is not to be 



222 AMERICA'S DAY 

denied. "Sooner or later one succumbs to it," is the 
reluctant testimony of Professor P. Sefton Delmer, who 
may be cited as an excellent witness. He is an Australian, 
and was appointed English Lecturer at Berlin University 
in 1901. "In Berlin I had constantly to remind myself 
that these were German reports, and full of German guile. 
The marvellous thing is that this subtle influence is felt 
even by intellects ivhich perceive its trend." Judge from 
this what its power must be where no bias exists, and 
where German rumour calls from every cave to the untu- 
tored masses. 

Publicity is proven as a weapon of war. Here in 
England we have seen it used to call armies into being 
for the factory and field, to raise enormous loans and rally 
the nation to economy and thrift for a long and wearing 
fight. It is pre-eminently an American weapon, and 
plays a compelling part in the polity of a land where 
silence, dignity, and repose do not accord with the spirit 
of youth welling in a restless people. A recent skirmish 
between the Cabinet and the Press ended in official rout 
and a letter of capitulation from the Secretaries of War, 
the Navy, and Foreign Affairs. "While there is much 
that is properly secret," these Ministers said, "in con- 
nection with Departments, the total is small when com- 
pared with the information which it is right the people 
should have. America's present needs are confidence, 
enthusiasm, and service; and these are not completely 
met unless every citizen is given that feeling of partner- 
ship which comes with full, frank statements relating to 
the conduct of public affairs." This was the outcome of 
the "news-gag" clause in the Espionage Bill, which had 
been severely handled in both Houses. 

At last President Wilson formed an Information Board, 
with Mr. George Creelman in charge. The Press was 
appeased and put upon its honour, with regulations on 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 223 

the news-desk and hints from the Bureaux in each 
reporter's heart. In a word, the Government was beaten; 
the papers were self-censored indeed, but as free as ever 
from "the dictation of superannuated majors who knew 
no more about news than they did of giant ordnance in 
the field." With this parting shot the Press withdrew 
to engage in war-work and devise a Headline Policy 
which should be common to them all. Here Columbia 
University joined forces with them through the School 
of Journalism founded by Joseph Pulitzer of the World. 
A super-editor was soon instructing his colleagues from 
academic halls oh the Hudson heights. "It is to a con- 
sidered and continuous policy of news presentation that 
we must primarily look for the keeping before the American 
people of the importance of team-play, and of the fact 
that we are today a member of a great team of nations 
whose success is ours, and whose failure would alike be 
ours. . . . 

"Keep news of the fighting upon the front page. For 
it is Our fighting. It is the reason why all our local 
energies — the raising of troops, the training of men here 
or there, the manufacture of munitions and the issuance 
of billions of credit — are conducted. These activities can 
be understood only in relation to the end for which they 
are undertaken. . . . That end is the defeat of Germany, 
which is being accomplished on the battlefields of Europe 
and on the high seas." Such was the new policy which 
the official "blacking-brush" might have brought to 
angry damnation. At the same time, the Government took 
care to issue a daily Bulletin of its own. This was dis- 
played in all post-offices, and marked the stages by which 
a pacific continent took on war-harness by a social revolu- 
tion. 

Here publicity has a pride of place denied it in the 
quieter lands. The University of Pennsylvania welcomes 



224 AMERICA'S DAY 

a congress of Advertising Clubs. "Sparks will be struck," 
the advance agent said, "from the contact of keen minds, 
new fires of optimism will be kindled, new courage and 
understanding promoted among men." These live wires 
were able to draw a letter from the most conservative 
of Presidents. Dr. "Wilson was glad to know that the 
clubs sought "to establish and enforce a code of ethics 
based upon candid truth." This was an aim which showed 
"good business judgment as well as a fine conception of 
public obligation. ' ' That such a crusade was needed, I 
will not attempt to deny. 

But of late Truth has invaded even the Bargain Base- 
ment, where sober values have superseded the merely 
snatching legend: "These 25 c. Handkerchiefs are a 
trifle mussed, so we allow you 10 c. for washing them." I 
know a mammoth store in New York, whose publicity 
man began a Truth campaign which all but drove the 
managers to mutiny. Yet the fellow persisted in his 
heresy. "Sincerity," quoth he, "is the biggest word in 
the dictionary. Give me six months' run, and if I don't 
double the sales, put me in the discard as a street sweeper." 
He had his way, that revolutionary, and dollars followed 
"like trained pigs" — the phrase is his own. It was per- 
plexing at first to the startled staff. The devotee of 
Truth knew that the average woman will refuse to buj' - 
"five-dollar" hats at fifty cents, whereas she will readily 
bite at $3.89. This tricky system was swept away, — 
though for a while Truth stood unheeded in frippery's 
halls, like the pedlar who sold golden sovereigns on London 
Bridge at a penny apiece. 

Nowhere is publicity so profoundly studied as in the 
United States. I am willing to believe it is a "fascinat- 
ing" art, since human frailty is its chief concern, and it 
carries a shifty code. Howbeit one must admire the 
play which these mages make with words. What insinua- 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 225 

tion equals the hand-camera hint : ' ' Your friends can 
buy anything you can give them. — except your photo- 
graph!" Or what is quainter than the shaving-soap that 
figures as a "Big Stick" — one of suaver utility than Roose- 
velt ever planned. "So husky to look at, so magical and 
soft in application ! The metal grip grows daily in your 
affections as the Big Stick wears itself out in your defence." 

In the underworld of advertising I came upon the letter- 
broker, an agent unknown over here. He deals in names 
and addresses; he rounds up and classifies inquirers of 
all kinds, whether for patent medicines, or wild-cat 
stocks and shares. The letters are rarely sold outright, 
but let out on hire with a sliding scale of charges governed 
by recency of date, by the subject-matter, and the number 
of originals among each lot. A mail-order house will 
pay from $5 to $10 for the loan of a hundred thousand 
letters; but I have known $1500 given for the names of 
fifty thousand possible victims in a crazy speculation. 

It is curious to recall the stunts of other days, and 
the itch for novelty which was never still. Even civic 
science had its freaks and finds, and editors were glad to 
get them for the Sunday supplement. Take the alliga- 
tors of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Zoo. These idle saurians 
were yanked out of the sun and set to clear the city drains 
by crawling through them with ropes and chains. Who 
could invent such things as these ? 

The social firmament was combed for stunts — (there 
is no escaping the word), and all classes responded eagerly. 
At the zenith was my lady of Newport, who went to the 
fancy ball as Aphrodite, with nothing on her but a wisp 
of gauze — "you could lose it in your purse, my dear"! 
And at the nadir was the felon in gaol; he was tyranny's 
victim, I fear, in this democratic land. His terrors and 
tortures in Trenton were exposed. So were drink and 
drugs smuggled in to him at Auburn; and — worst of 



226 AMERICA'S DAY 

all — the ghastly preparations for the death-chair in Sing- 
Sing, a sizzling horror which I shall not describe. 

These ugly themes cast wholesome light upon abuses; 
for the vice and graft of American prisons, no less than 
their crude philanthropy, were scandals that cried aloud 
for reform. Of late years an official ban has been put 
upon penitentiary yarns. Superintendent James M. Car- 
ter, of the New York State Prison Service, warned his 
staff against notoriety of this unbecoming kind. Legiti- 
mate news might properly be given out, but "the practice 
of featuring convicts and advertising persons indiscrimin- 
ately is not and cannot be helpful." 

Aerial and cinema feats took a reckless toll of human 
life, besides debauching the people who viewed them. 
On the political side there was the "Manless Special," a 
famous train which brought Suffrage armies to besiege 
the White House and the Capitol, and the liquor-loathing 
Sheriff, who watered the streets of his home town with 
hundreds of gallons of "blind tiger" whisky. 

America loved spectacular news of this kind, but the 
buzz of it ceased when ten million citizens marched to 
register for Humanity's "War. New Headlines now 
appeared in the papers, and mere inanity was no more 
seen. "Old Glory in the Firing Line" was a front-page 
feature. Or "The Hoe behind the Flag" — an exhortation 
to the farmers: "Taking Stock of Our Resources," "The 
Men who Get Things Done," and "Our Bridge of Ships 
Across The Atlantic." "These United States," whose 
lack of cohesion Washington himself bewailed, were now 
one indeed in that "privilege of self-sacrifice" which 
President Wilson praised. "We may regard this as a 
very happy Day," the Chief Executive told the veterans 
of the Civil War. "A Day of Dedication, a renewal of the 
spirit which has made us great." 

America's millions were now in Democracy's War — 



PUBLICITY AND THE PRESS 227 

"With both feet," as General Pershing vowed: "To the 
last dollar," as ML Viviani testified after his memorable 
tour with Marshal Joffre, "To the last man, and the last 
beat of their hearts." 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 

"Les anciens, Monsieur, sont les anciens; et nous sommes les gena 
de maintenant." — (Moliere, Le Malade Imaginaire). 

The collapse in Russia and the military burden it threw 
upon the Allies did much to deepen America's responsibil- 
ity and reveal her own role in a critical liberation of forces 
too evenly balanced for a speedy decision. Germany, as 
we know, held her lightly as a possible enemy. The early 
satires of journals like Kladderadatsch and Simplissimus 
show Uncle Sam as a clumsy titan with a wooden sword: 

"Any centenarian can see 
To ring a bull's-eye when he shoots at me!" 

Another cartoon showed a Mexican peon on a bucking 
bronco, throwing a lasso at the impotent President, who 
was scolding Berlin from the far Atlantic shore. Ameri- 
ca's aim to boss the world was desolate Hamburg's theme: 
"Not of course by military means, for these people lack the 
very rudiments of martial tradition. Their mentality is 
essentially bourgeois, yet they assume lofty airs as keepers 
of the world's conscience. This pose flickers through all 
Ilerr Wilson's chameleon Notes." 

Herr Wilson would do well to change his ways while yet 
he was safe. For, lifted again and again from the dip- 
lomatic saddle, he was now in danger of being blown out of 
the military path. . . . And so things drifted to a rupture 
which was quite calmly viewed in Berlin. Was it of much 
more account after all than the break with Hayti or 

228 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 229 

Liberia? These op hiions underwent a change. I find Pro- 
fessor Jannasch debating the cost of war with "the Land 
of Limitless Kesources." He regrets the Pan-American 
influence which can seize millions of tons of shipping, and 
close markets from Vera Cruz down to Valparaiso — "the 
result of our colonizing genius these ninety years." But 
there could be no turning back. Dr. Jannasch kept the 
Pan-German eagle flying because: "Our people have 
poured out streams of blood ! They have hungered and 
shivered, and sacrificed their savings to the one Desire, of 
which the halting fulfilment has proved bitter enough. Let 
us push on to the decisive battle in which the Americans 
can take no part." 

Other writers, too, thought the New World too thickly 
overlaid with Germanism to move an armed fist against the 
Fatherland. And therewith the}' traced the sway of 
Deutschtum in the United States, from the rabble of Valley 
Forge which Von Steuben reorganized for Washington with 
German marksmen of deadly fame, armed with bored rifles 
made by German gunsmiths of Pennsylvania. 

From first to last what was America without its Teuton 
leaven ! It was Andreas Klomann, a Rhenish Prussian, 
who founded the steel industry of Pittsburg, which Penn- 
sylvania Germans like Henry Frick and Charles Schwab 
carry on to this day. Busch, the famous brewer of St. 
Louis; Havemeyer, the Sugar-man, Otto Kahn and Jacob 
Schiff, those Wall Street princes — here was German genius 
flowering in a bleak and graceless land. In the Civil War 
187,000 hyphenates fought for the Union; their folks at 
home put $600,000,000 into Lincoln's empty war-chest. 
But what reminding should America need of all this aid? 
German soldiers in bronze and marble stood in mute 
reproach in every well-kept park from Boston to San Fran- 
cisco. 

By this time America shook from sea to sea with armed 



230 AMERICA'S DAY 

upheaval, and Berlin pedants were dwelling upon new facts. 
This world-war was more scientific than any which had 
gone before. But it was also a machine-made war, and 
men were drilled for it with an ease and swiftness which 
confounded precedent and opened up disturbing possi- 
bilities. America's Day of Registration showed an enor- 
mous muster. Secretary Baker was talking of six-figure 
armies raised by selective drafts which favoured no class. 
And Joffre's appeal was being answered. "Led by her 
President," said the Marshal through the State Depart- 
ment, "this mighty people has entered the war. And by 
the side of France, in defence of mankind, the place of 
America is marked. France, to whom American valour is 
known, cherishes the thrilling hope that the flag of the 
United States will soon be unfurled in our fighting line. 
This is what Germany dreads!" 

That dread was spreading as the President got to work 
and training camps appeared, each one with a city's popu- 
lation, and all intent upon the business of slaughter. Soon 
there was an Expeditionary Force in France, an American 
Staff established in the Rue Constantine near the Paris Min- 
istry of War, and whole divisions of pupils were at lethal 
games behind the lines under the veterans of Haig and 
Petain. Fabulous loans were offered to the Allies. There 
were steel rails and rolling stock for Russia, fleets of ships 
on the stocks for Britain, that she might defeat the sub- 
marine. For home defence America had a program 
involving billions of dollars, and a rally of power — per- 
sonal, industrial, and agricultural — which must change the 
continent for all time. 

The navy was transformed; a loose system of coast 
defence was pulled to pieces and reconstructed in the light 
of ballistic lessons. Science and invention were enlisted on 
a vast scale. All things lacking — torpedoes and shells, big 
guns and mines and explosives — were forthcoming in truly 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 231 

American profusion. So were skilled hands for the bases 
in France ; engineers, electricians, and road men ; dock- 
masters of Hoboken, Fifth Avenue chauffeurs and lumber- 
jacks from the far North-West. The submarine service 
began a headlong race for proficiency. It had a long way 
to go, I am bound to say; yet the pace of it exceeded the 
utmost hope of men who knew America's resources. Here 
Henry Ford deserves a tribute. He enlisted his own indus- 
trial armies, which number scores of thousands ; he offered 
machinery quite unique in scope and scale and ingenuity. 

But it was above all in aircraft that supremacy was 
planned. The eyes of the German armies were to be 
blinded by American squadrons, so machines were talked 
of in ten thousands. For this purpose a first appropriation 
for $64,000,000 was no sooner passed than Congress tabled 
another for $600,000,000. The German war-aims were 
often expounded by the President. The Kaliphale of 
Berlin was dissected by him with its implied dominion of 
Europe and Asia from the North Sea to the Persian Gulf. 
"The great fact that stands out," Dr. Wilson explained, "is 
that this is a peoples' war for freedom, justice, and self- 
government among all the nations. . . . And that it rests 
with us to break through these hypocrisies — the patent 
cheats and marks of brute force — and help set the world 
free; or else stand aside and let it be dominated by sheer 
weight of arms, and the arbitrary will of self-constituted 
masters." 

"To do this great thing worthily and successfully," the 
President pointed out, "we must devote ourselves to service 
without regard to profit or material advantage, and that 
with an energy and intelligence that rise to the level of the 
undertaking." But would this efficiency be forthcoming? 
The Germans doubted it, and fell back on a survey of past 
American wars. All was different now, however ; con- 
fusion was stilled like the twitter of birds in a rising storm. 



232 AMERICA'S DAY 

Colonel Roosevelt's offer of an independent levy was 
politely declined. He was a gallant man, a line public 
servant, but . . . "the business now in hand," declared 
the President plainly, "is practical and undrainatic, 
scientifically definite and precise." There was no scope 
here for the beau sabreur; rough-rider methods, well 
enough in Cuba, were sadly out of place in the fields of 
France. "I shall act at every step," Dr. Wilson declared, 
"under expert advice from both sides of the water." 

Even Germany began to see that this leader was carrying 
his people with him. "It is not an army we have to train 
and shape for war," the President told Congress when he 
moved the Conscription Act; "it is* the entire American 
nation." And that miracle was growing; the States 
"United" in a sense that Washington never saw, nor that 
Lincoln left when his task of Reconstruction was completed. 
"What our country needs," said Dr. Murray Butler, Presi- 
dent of Columbia University, "is an intellectual hero, an 
outstanding poet or a seer, to move hearts and heads as 
Emerson did our fathers." America was sure she had such 
a man at the White House in this her Day, and German 
thinkers were inclined to agree. 

It is curious to follow the Berlin process of giving the 
devil his due. What astonished friend and foe was the 
personal ascendancy of the President, his fixity of purpose 
and supple grasp to which men in Congress who opposed 
him paid unstinted homage. "Wilson may have a one- 
track mind," they conceded, "but it seems to have ample 
switching facilities!" 

His role was the pontiff's, his word infallible in American 
faith and morals. "Why have our people changed over- 
night?" asked Congressman Byrnes of South Carolina. 
In this case an opponent of the Conscription Bill went 
home to face constituents who favoured it as by an abrupt 
caprice; it was bewildering. "Simply because the papers 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 233 

urge them to back up the President. Whatever he asks 
for he gets by an overwhelming vote." And indeed his 
sagacity had won. Now for the first time one heard 
business men agreeing with Martineau that: "Reverence 
for human life is carried to an immoral idolatry when it is 
held more sacred than justice or right, and when the 
spectacle of blood becomes more horrible than the sight of 
desolating tyrannies and triumphant hypocrisies." 

The forty-eight States ranged themselves behind their 
chosen leader "with plain heroic magnitude of mind." In 
New York the German Liederkranz serenaded Mayor 
Mitchel with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Southern 
negroes marched to the booths with martial song ; in 
Western deserts the Indian braves went on the war-path — ■ 
not indeed in plumes and paint, but in the latest caper of 
Kirschbaum togs, with dandy hats and loud shirts of ultra 
design. 

It is no skin tepee that houses the Indian chieftain of 
today; that saddle-coloured savage draws thousands a year 
from gas and oil lands leased to the big Standard or 
some other interest of the East. The Osage lord rolled 
up to the Agency in a Ford car and registered as an 
American soldier. Then he drove back to a fine house, 
with fauteuils and parquet floors, and a costly gramophone 
in which Gounod and Verdi were followed by ragtime airs 
from the Broadway musical shows. 

I must say there are less "civilized" specimens than 
these. In Colorado the Utes were unwilling to serve, 
the remote Navajos of Arizona would not "fight in 
Germany," and were therefore tactfully excused. Other- 
wise all the races of the Melting-Pot rose at their Presi- 
dent's appeal. The Hungarian of Chicago wrote patriotic 
letters to his native paper, the Amerikai Figydd, whose 
leading article was a paean to the Day. It was the same in 
Lowell (Mass.) — "our vest-pocket Athens"— where the 



234 AMERICA'S DAY 

Greek Erevna gave stirring news to the native coffee-houses. 
Registration was also explained in Italian, Spanish, Yid- 
dish, and Norse. Even hyphenate journals turned upon 
the Fatherland with regret, recalling its furtive strokes 
at Uncle Sam. These began with the Samoan affair, and 
passed to the Hayti intrigue of 1914, not forgetting Herr 
Zimmerniann's bait to Mexico and Japan. 

Every sort of citizen hailed the privilege of service, 
which the President hoped would receive the widest pub- 
licity. And the press responded with a "Wake Up!" cam- 
paign which spoiled the farmer's picnic on the Kansan 
plain. It was for sluggish rural centres that the Com- 
mittee of Public Information prepared a national booklet, 
IIoiv We Came Into The War. Propaganda swept the 
continent with tireless ingenuity and zeal. It pierced 
the prairie apathy; it struck sparks from the dullest, and 
set Great Britain in a new light. An official order was now 
issued deleting the offensive third verse of "The Star- 
Spangled Banner." And a typical Western newspaper 
summed the situation in these words: "Mr. Balfour's 
reception by Congress ought to convince the English 
that we are willing to forget George III — if they can!" 
So at long last President Wilson was rewarded for that 
patience which Pitt defined as the first virtue of states- 
manship. 

I have called America a continent of contradictions. 
That "all men are created equal" was set down as a self- 
evident truth in the classic Declaration. Yet a Rockefeller 
may amass a thousand millions, whilst the "poor white" of 
Tennessee drags out a life of savage squalor on his lonely 
rocks. Then Jefferson, in his first Inaugural Address, 
laid down the principles of democracy, which as a "bright 
constellation has gone before us and guided our steps." 
A particular star of that galaxy was "Justice for all men 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 235 

of whatever persuasion, religious or political." Yet the 
State laws jar strangeh/ on this Jeffersonian latitude. Last 
year a citizen of Olympia, Wash., was sent to gaol for 
calling George Washington a drinker. And three thousand 
miles off — in prosaic Waterbury, Conn. — a Lithuanian 
freethinker was tried and convicted for "blaspheming the 
Bible," making light of its miracles and the divinity of 
Christ. The Free Speech League of New York took up 
this case, pointing out that the law went back to 1642 
and was coupled with witchcraft, entailing the death pen- 
alty. 

How are such vagaries possible among the People of Now 
— the "common people" whom Lincoln said God loved 
because "He made so many of them"? The sovereignty 
of the people is the first principle of Americanism, and no 
leader has stated it more forcibly than Woodrow Wilson. 
"I take it," he says, "to be a necessity of the hour to open 
up all the processes of politics and public business — open, 
them wide — to public view: to make them accessible to 
every force that moves, every opinion that prevails in the 
thought of the people: to give society command of its 
own economic life again — not by revolutionary measures, 
but by a steady application of the principle that the 
people have a right to look into such matters and to control 
them. . . . Wherever political programs are formulated 
or candidates agreed, over that place a Voice must speak, 
with the divine prerogative of a people's will, the words, 
'Let there be light !' " Here is the antithesis of Kaiserism! 
And in similar vein was the message which Mr. Gompers 
sent to revolutionary Russia on behalf of the Federation 
of Labour. 

Meanwhile, from Madrid to Prague, from Calcutta to 
Quebec, "the silent mass of mankind" for whom Dr. Wil- 
son spoke, were raising voices louder than the guns. And 
America showed the way with growing determination. 



236 AMERICA'S DAY 

' ' At one bound, ' ' our Prime Minister told her Pressmen in 
Downing Street, "the United States became a world-power 
in a sense that she never was before. ' ' Her President was 
hailed by France as the eloquent interpreter of outraged 
right and civilization. All Europe rang with homage. The 
halls of the Sorbonne were full of American praise, so were 
illiterate barracks of the Ukraine, where the mujik blinked 
in the new light of freedom and extravagant hope. 
Marshal Joffre was a pilgrim to that sacred grove on the 
Potomac, where he laid a palm-spray of bronze upon Wash- 
ington 's tomb, with the wistful hope that America would 
soon sound a trumpet-call like his own classic Order of 
the Day: "L 'offensive va se poursuivre sans trcve et sans 
relache ! ' ' 

Courage, self-mastery, and continuous effort — here is 
the formula that sustains the American soul in the great, 
game of life. "0' course," as the darkie explained to 
the learned German, "ef you sho'ly hunt Trouble, an' stay 
ter shake han's an' ask how's all de HI' Troubles at home 
— w'y den ye can't blame Joy ef he take ter de woods wid 
his banjo !" To think pink and look prosperous are factors 
extolled and favoured as conducing to Success. On the 
other hand, the grouch — he who croaks and kicks — is known 
and damned at sight, like the movie villain who flickers to 
a lurid end in the last picture of a popular reel. 

Therefore preparedness for the battle of life is a forceful 
affair. To begin with, it involves many experiments in 
education; the President of Columbia bluntly declares that 
"Our present system is worn out." For this reason 
the General Education Board, backed w r ith thirty-five 
millions of Rockefeller money, began to remodel elemen- 
tary and secondary education on lines laid down by Dr. 
Eliot of Harvard, and by Dr. Abraham Flexner, who 
would cut out all the trimmings of the Platonic ideal and 
get down to the brass tacks of today: "Nous sommes le& 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 237 

gens de Maintenant!" The Flexncr plan lays stress 
upon science and industry. It would abolish that formal 
discipline which moved the humorist to remark with 
reminiscent sadness, "It makes no dif'rence phivat ye 
shtudy, 's long's ye hate it!" Mathematics of the utili- 
tarian type are to be taught; the training is to be largely 
vocational and on strict business lines with little regard 
for the larger humanities. 

Of course the intellectuals opposed this scheme, citing 
the wisest sage of antiquity, who turned from the physical 
sciences and gave himself to the life of man. The contest 
between the two schools still rages sharply, as it does 
among ourselves. But the Greeks may have to give way, 
with all their allies from Ignatius Loyola to Heinrich von 
Treitschke, who defended the classics as a guide to intellect 
and taste. "Imagination will be cramped and stunted," 
American scholars mourned as they surveyed the Flexner 
scheme. "Knowledge and enlightenment will be abridged 
and shorn of those delights which have made them so rich 
a possession." The experiment is therefore assailed as a 
disastrous stroke — "the opening wedge of a frankly sordid, 
materialistic education which will make of us a race of 
efficient Hottentots. ' ' 

On the other hand, American parents raise a counter- 
plea for their twenty million boys and girls. "Give our 
children a practical education," they urge. "We waut 
them fitted for the fight. ' ' So the system of 1898 must go ; 
it is already out of date, although hailed in its day as the 
heritage of all the ages. Secretary McAdoo of the Treas- 
ury would have the teaching of Spanish made compulsory 
in the common schools; two-thirds of America's youth leave 
these at the age of fourteen, and never return. In this day 
of plain speaking hard things are said of the mental and 
moral equipment they take with them into the busy 
American world. After all, the high-brow was a poor 



238 AMERICA'S DAY 

enough citizen for war-time — unless indeed he knew 
something of the Science of Slaughter. Even conservative 
England had found this out. Had she not now a Chair 
of Aviation at Oxford? There was at Leeds a Depart 
ment of Tinctorial Chemistry, at Liverpool a School of 
Tropic Medicine, and at Sheffield — that home of high- 
speed steel — a Professorship of Metallurgy, as well as a 
Chair of Russian, endowed by the armament firm of Vick- 
ers. Surely these were significant signs of the times? 

Colonel Shirley, Director of Military Studies at Cam- 
bridge, was aghast at the ignorance of high-brow English 
boys. "Is it not absurd," he asked — for all the world as 
Dr. Flexner might ! — ' ' to make a boy do Latin verse before 
he can express himself clearly in his mother tongue!" 
So there was vigorous blowing in Britain upon the Latin 
cinders and Greek dust ; a floundering out of blind alleys 
and buffalo-tracks of learning into the broad American 
way, and the workshop of a brighter and better world. 

The college man in business is often debated in New 
York, where tradition and the facts go steadily against 
him. An industrial prince, like Charles M. Schwab, will 
take the high-brow for his theme in get-ahead talks with 
slum lads over on the East Side. Mr. Schwab — no college 
man himself — favours Science in a general way, because 
it tends to eliminate chance from the material affairs of 
men. The cultured youth, Mr. Schwab is afraid, has 
inflated notions of his own worth; he seeks to capitalize 
at once his costly years of study. Hard slogging on the 
up-grade, the steel-master believes, goes against the college 
grain. The high-brow gets a disagreeable jolt in his new 
job ; his own superiority is a standing bar, with all its 
top-hamper and unnecessary sail. It is quite otherwise 
with the poor lad, hammered night and day in ambition's 
forge. He pores over books when others are in bed; he 



THE "PEOPLE OP NOW" 239 

foregoes the usual pleasures, he does menial tasks in the 
summer months to pay for his technical tuition. 

Mr. Schwab made out a plausible case, and American 
life fairly bristles with the proof of it. That brusque 
giant and patron of the arts, John G. Johnson, of Phila- 
delphia, was a blacksmith's son who scampered through 
a suburban board school. He became the leading corpora- 
tion lawyer of America, and two Presidents pressed high 
office upon him. 

Another poor boy was James A. Farrell, President of 
the U. S. Steel Corporation, the master of 270,000 men and 
a business worth a thousand millions a year. Jim Farrell 
is the incarnation of American drive; no man's advice is 
more eagerly sought on the all-absorbing topic of Success. 
He has a memory of abnormal grasp, as the greatest of 
advocates found when heckling him in a Government suit 
against the Trust he controls. 

The lives of these men, paragons of energy and shrewd- 
ness, have long allured the American masses and inspired 
the arid literature of efficiency schools. Forging Ahead 
is a typical title. IIow to Figure Fast is a ready reckoner 
which is described as The Book That Counts! Another 
is Wealth in Waste; it deals with potential gold from the 
factory smoke, with potash from seaweed, paper from 
sugar-cane stalk, silk from sawdust, and valuable nitrates 
from the atmosphere. Was not War Secretary Baker 
building a four million dollar plant for this (i crazy ?? pur- 
pose? 

These books have an immense sale. There are get- 
ahead periodicals, too, like Success and System and the 
American Magazine; this last is conducted on novel lines. 
Here we have inspiring yarns, with real heroes and real 
names. Here is Jim Hill driving his dog-sled over the 
Canadian rivers in mid-winter — the Cecil Rhodes of the 



240 AMERICA'S DAY 

United States, of whom a spell-bound reader wrote, 
"Hill's adventures make fiction seem vapid stuff. I have 
never hung by the eyelids to any climax as I did to this 
man's battle with the Hudson Bay Company for the Red 
River Trade." Equally moving (to the American reader) 
was Hill's exploit with the St. Paul and Pacific. The 
American titan took that road in hand when it was but 
"two streaks of rust and a right of way," and with the 
derelict he built an empire in the North-West. 

But the Great War is shaping other heroes. America's 
Hall of Fame has now shifted from University Heights to 
the battle-fields of France, with expectancy of new leading 
worthy of more spacious times. This feeling was voiced by 
President Butler in the halls of Columbia, when he con- 
ferred degrees upon Marshal JofTrc and Arthur Balfour, the 
envoys of a new Holy Alliance for security and peace. Big 
gaps in the graduates and Faculty spoke of Columbia's 
contribution to the new Day. Five hundred students were 
at Plattsburg, Newport or Fort Myer, training for Army 
and Navy commissions. 

"The American youth who pass out today," Dr. Butler 
said, "enter a strange world at a crucial hour of history. 
Time will soon tell whether man has crossed the Great 
Divide and begun his decline, or whether he is still ascend- 
ing to universal freedom. It is more than a world at war — 
it is a world in social revolution. From the Russian steppes 
clear across Europe, and the United States round to Japan 
and China, men and nations are not only locked in fearsome 
grappling, — they are also examining, readjusting, and reor- 
ganizing their olden habits of thought and action, private 
as well as public. ' ' 

Hence the need for new leading; for larger vision and 
devotion such as the people perceive in Woodrow Wilson, 
who "reigns" as no President ever reigned before. "It is 
an heroic age," says another American thinker, Dr. Eliot 



THE " PEOPLE OF NOW" 241 

of Harvard — "an age that prompts the question: 'What 
do I love? What do I live and work for? And for what 
am I ready to die?' Quite naturally the answer comes: 
'For justice, for freedom, for the increase of natural human 
joy, and the fairer distribution of the legitimate fruits of 
labour.' " Here is Americanism defined; the laic religion 
of tomorrow's reconstruction to which all the democracies 
subscribe. 

Meanwhile, an epic stage is set in the United States with 
mute beckoning to unknown players. What manner of 
man will the stress and strain bring forth, as the Revolution 
brought forth George Washington as patriot, soldier, and 
statesman? It is strange, America muses, how war dis- 
covers genius in unlikely quarters. Andrew Jackson 
stepped from the Bench to the battle-field in the chaos of 
1812. It was an obscure failure, Ufysses Grant, who was 
destined to lead the Union Army to victory at last. The 
splendour of Lincoln has a background of blood and flame, 
and imminent ruin. It was the rough-rider charge up San 
Juan hill that gave Roosevelt a glimpse of the White 
House and future renown. Therefore the flush-time idols 
are neglected. The standards of Success have shifted, and 
citizens rally for service as they did when the farmers of 
Concord Bridge tired "the shot heard round the world." 
"The whole nation," the President ordained, "must be a 
team in which each man shall play the part for which he is 
best fitted." 

Achievements once thought great were forgotten now. 
The Panama Canal is America's greatest "short cut," yet 
the man who made it — General G. W. Goethals — had a 
prouder task in the Emergency Fleet which was to foil the 
German submarine. The crowning work of Edison's career 
is being done in war-workshops of the Westinghouse 
concern. Herbert Hoover forsook his mines for the ration- 
ing of nations. Julius Rosenwald, the Selfridge of Chicago 



242 AMERICA'S DAY 

■ — a man rich enough to give away $G87,000 on his birthday 
* — left his mammoth store to join the Council of National 
Defence. And Daniel Willard turned his back on railways 
to organize American industries for war. 

As for the women, I could fill pages with their practical 
work. "Stop passing resolutions," a shrewd lady advised 
a very exclusive Society. "And go home and plant some- 
thing!" It was pointed out by the Department of Agri- 
culture that housekeepers control eighty per cent, of 
America's food expenditure; they could therefore do great 
service by eliminating waste. Secretary Houston was 
informed by his experts that poor cooking and over-lavish 
provision at table dumped in $700,000,000 a year into the 
garbage-cans. This vast sum was now to be saved, and as 
much more added to it by the children, whose "door-yard 
gardens" were soon a national feature, full of vegetables 
and small fruits with hygienic space on the side for chickens 
and rabbits, pigeons and ducks. The U. S. Commissioner 
of Education, showed that by intelligent direction a twelve- 
year-old boy or girl could easily grow $50 worth of food in a 
garden of five hundred square feet. There need be no 
interference with regular school work, nor too much time 
taken from the hours of play. Moreover, the new hobby 
had an educational value; it added to health and strength, 
and filled the child with wholesome pride as a helper of 
the State. 

Then a million women were asked to do men's summer 
work on the farms. To all volunteers the Department of 
Agriculture sent a concise and simple primer of instruc- 
tions. For the first time economy and thrift were Govern- 
ment themes, urged upon homes where these virtues had 
never been known. The women were told it was possible 
for them "to aid our economic preparedness when the 
Great War summons an immense Army to the colours." 
With a good team, and a riding-cultivator equipped with a 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 243 

sun umbrella, ploughing corn was a more pleasing job than 
washing clothes. The spring seat of a binder was con- 
trasted with the useless piano-stool, and "few household 
chores are more fun than riding a hay-rake." 

It need hardly be said that the Red Cross had feminine 
armies of its own, as well as funds to the extent of 
$100,000,000, and as much more as might be desired. 
Never, surely, was money so profuse in flood. Only the 
Quakers were exempted from combatant service, and these 
took up works of utility and mercy. "No Friend will fail 
in his duty at a time when the world is torn and bleeding. 
"We must show by our example that we love America in 
very deed and truth." 

It is a long way from the Quakers of New York and Ver- 
mont to the Filipinos of the Asiatic Archipelago, yet here 
also the same signs were seen. Fifty thousand islanders 
answered America's call, and marched to the Malacang 
residence of Governor Harris, who rules in the President's 
name. "We take our stand," said island chieftain Manuel 
Quezon, "on the democratic principle that he who will not 
aid his country as a soldier in the hour of need is unworthy 
of citizen privilege." 

Such was America's will to war; it came with a bracing 
sense of shock and the awed perception of a sterner Day. 
No man voiced this more earnestly than General John J. 
Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the First Expeditionary 
Force. "This is the beginning of a wonderful era," the 
veteran declared when both Houses of Congress passed the 
Conscription Bill with great majorities. "I would rather 
live now and have my share in today's events than have 
lived in any past period of the world or witness any devel- 
opment which the future may have in store." 

The upheaval in America was more foreign to habit than 
in older nations of homogeneous race and traditions of war. 
It is hard to convey the sensations of a New York matron, 



244 AMERICA'S DAY 

when shopping in Sixth Avenue and suddenly faced by a 
big effigy of Liberty, with minatory finger and the startling 
legend below: "You Buy a Bond, or I perish!" One of 
these days a native humorist will write a droll book on the 
''Wake Up" campaign which President Wilson waged to 
ensure an effective war and to imbue the Central West and 
South with martial incentives. For it was in these sections 
that the farmer scratched his head, irresolute over the 
many scientific recipes for the "bread bullets" which he 
was to provide for the Allied peoples. Rube cheered with 
the rest, of course; yet in his heart he was afraid the 
Executive ran too fast and was over-autocratic in Free- 
dom's war. Witness the new regulations for the produce 
markets, the bossing of railroads and factories and mines. 
Mr. President, the farmer feared, was filching more and 
more power from Congress until that body bade fair to 
become a war-time rubber-stamp. Nor were signs lacking 
that Congress itself felt that way too. 

"We're shooting democracy into the Germans," said the 
caustic Socialist of Milwaukee. "We've a Tsar of our 
own over here, so let Nicholas send us his cast-off crown." 
In this way were the rueful and truculent, the remote herds 
of brotherhood and peace, as well as artful traitors and 
duty-dodgers worked upon with auras of conflict and con- 
fusion. It would be absurd to say that the Great War was 
"popular" in the jingo sense, as war was when petty vic- 
tories over Spain shrieked from the New York Journal in 
monstrous type made up of Stars and Stripes. America's 
War called for patient education. The Council of National 
Defence called a conference of all the States, and Secretary 
Lane spoke plainly to the delegates. Germany, he declared, 
was not to be starved out ; she would put up the greatest 
fight the world has seen. "But whatever the size of the job, 
we must be equal to it. ' ' The envoys present should there- 
fore impress upon their home folks the need for immediate 



THE "PEOPLE OF NOW" 245 

action, and lay plans for a long and obstinate struggle. 

Secretary of Labour Wilson made a personal appeal to 
the workers. Mr. McAdoo, of the Treasury, toured the 
country with his wife on a "Why We Fight" mission. He 
dealt also with the national penalty: "If Germany wins 
. . . she would come here and set the conqueror's heel 
upon us all ! We might have to pay an indemnity amount- 
ing to half our total wealth, which is $250,000,000,000. 
You would have taxation upon your shoulders for a 
hundred years to come." There were also lectures on the 
Chautauqua system which brought home to the masses how 
vital was victory in this far-off fight. 

But if "Business as Usual" was an early obsession of 
our own, is it any wonder that the Melting Pot — a con- 
tinent thousands of miles off — should be slow movers in 
a universal war? Americans find life hard enough in 
normal times. "Our toll of industrial deaths," said the 
Director of the Museum of Safety, "equals fifteen full 
Army regiments every year. Over three hundred regi- 
ments of toilers are so seriously hurt as to be laid off for 
four weeks. " " America at peace, ' ' said another authority, 
"lost in two years and a half of death, mutilation, and 
lowered production, the $3,500,000,000 first asked of Con- 
gress on the eve of our entry into the war. ' ' 

At home and abroad today there are nobler interests 
for America's gilded youth who at one time aspired to a 
De Maupassant leisure of parties and veiled ladies, prac- 
tical jokes and games in the vicious ephebia of Broadway 
glare and tumult. A Thaw of Pittsburg became the senior 
American flying officer in France. Alan Seeger, the Har- 
vard poet, gave his life for 1 the cause like our own Rupert 
Brooke. Vernon Castle, the famous salon dancer, had 
America "at his feet," yet he hurried over to take part 
in sky quadrilles against the Bodies. Young Marshall 
Field, a lad of enormous wealth, became a trooper in the 



246 AMERICA'S DAY 

Illinois Cavalry; young Vanderbilt joined the ammunition 
train as a private soldier. 

There was a time when the rich youth sought to outshine 
all the dandies, since Alcibiades went out to supper with 
golden grasshoppers in his hair. This folly can never 
quite regain its tinsel glory. The mermaid feast, the hectic 
play at Palm Beach tables — all the staggers and lapse of 
moneyed license — these belong to America's isolated past, 
when young Hotspur made a torch of his purse to light 
his narrow round — Las de toucher tou jours mon horizon du 
doigt. The American youth of 1918 has the world for a 
field. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 

"I call a new testimony — yea, one better than all scripture, more 
discussed than all doctrine, more public than all publications. . . . 
Stand forth, Soul!'' — (Ieriulxiaa) . 

When Henry James returned to New York after years of 
absence he had much to learn about his native land, its 
joyous growth and clamorous aims. "Perhaps you'll write 
us the Great American Novel," was the hope of a friend, 
who guided the weaver of words through the noisy maze. 
But the artist demurred. "I'm afraid I can't," he said, 
"for I don't know the American world of business." 

Now my survey of a pink and practical outlook must go 
back to a time when the anima mundi of these people was 
not duty or sacrifice, but mainly Success, and that of rather 
a barren kind which left the winner unfulfilled. 

To compare the present American aspect with that of 
pre-war days is like setting the Britain of 1918 beside the 
England of Ascot Week in 1913, when our "week-end 
habit of mind" was a German taunt. America as well as 
Russia has known the throes of revolution. The uprooting 
of tradition, the adventure overseas and its reaction upon 
life at home — these are already reflected in American life 
and letters. The Great American Novel, it is felt, may 
after all be written in blood, like Draco's law. And haply 
by some exiled Ovid, like young Norman Prince who died 
for France, or Alan Seeger, the poet-soldier, whose reverie 
called up Love and pillowed ease: 

"But I've a rendezvous with Death 
At midnight in some naming town!" 
247 



248 AMERICA'S DAY 

It is the voice of America's new-found soul, a nobler 
note than that of the petty trader who "couldn't pass a 
bank without raising his hat and walking on his toes." 
This waggish worship of the money-shrine has been 
appreciably chilled. Dollars are become as dirt to be swept 
in billions into the maw of war. Therefore a sober 
journal like the San can now say, "We are reading 
seriously. ' ' The reviewer glanced at ' ' this Season 's books, ' ' 
and sighed as one who knew them by heart. How could 
the public swallow the old stuff in this new day? But it 
was not the old stuff; there was here less of the milk for 
babes and more strong meat, such as belongeth to them 
that are of full age. Books of broader vision lay on the 
critic's table. Something of Mazzini's flame in '63 — 
"Nationality is an end, a collective mission from Above." 
"Writers were harking back to the fervour that lifted the 
North in '65 when the security of the Union had been 
assured by the sword. And men pointed to France, 
quoting the Parnassians of Fort Vaux and Douaumont: 
"Notre race tou jours a su reverdir!" Over American 
literature a change had come, as it had over industry itself. 
There were now merchant fleets to build, and U-boat 
destroyers; aeroplanes in thousands, sea and land harness 
for millions of men. The steel plants of Pittsburg were 
turned from the ways of peace. So were the motor-shops of 
Michigan, the rubber-shops of Ohio, lumber-camps of the 
North-West; the farms and ranches, the stock-yards, oil- 
fields and mines. 

The wholesale jeweller was busy with periscopes, the 
sash-chain man making cartridge-clips ; and from under- 
wear factories came bandages in ribbons that would reach 
to the moon. Machine-gun aid was expected of the cor- 
set people. Cash-register plants and makers of infants' 
food were also in the killing or curing line. Thirty thou- 
sand firms had asked for a share in the Big Job, and Uncle 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 249 

Sam was doling out "practice orders" of an educational 
kind. Thus a threshing-machine man got a contract for a 
hundred six-inch shells, and with it Government guidance 
in the necessary jigs and tools and gauges. There was room 
for every citizen in Democracy's war — for the "Wyoming 
cowboy as well as for commercial lords who were on the 
Washington pay-roll at one dollar a year. 

It was this upheaval which accounted for the new books 
on our reviewer's table. Of course there were pamphlets 
on physical condition. "In this world-crisis," said the 
dope-and-diet ad. of a health-culture course, "you must 
be a national asset, and i\oi a liability." Even the fiction 
promised, by title or puff, to illumine matters — that 
swayed the new American thought. There was still pink 
reading, of course, but its pride of place was gone. The 
novels were less exuberant ; minor poets had more flints 
than flowers in their little triolet offerings. 

Strangest of all, here was naval and military science — 
a work on Trench Warfare, for instance, by Major James 
A. Moss, U. S. A. This author was concerned with 
obstacles and ditches, mining and countermining ; bayonet- 
fighting, the use of grenades, and bombs and liquid fire. 

At the same time there were a few works that reflected 
peace-time interests wholly given to war. The cottage 
spinster still gabbled from her cabbage-patch with a back- 
ground of hollyhocks and hens. The small-town parson 
told of business methods in the local church. He took 
space in the paper to advertise his spiritual wares. There 
were bulletin boards at the cross-roads, and Barnum par- 
ades to boost the Sunday School — that problem of a stormy 
day when Christ ethics were decried with Nietzschean 
ferocity. 

There are Western yarns in the Season's list — "fine, big 
novels of simple sweetness and virile .strength," with 
corresponding heroes on the coloured wrappers, and pri- 



250 AMERICA'S DAY 

vate guidance from the publisher to the reviewer. Here 
is "a ten-strike in fiction, a miracle of mental cleanness, 
and that rarest of all achievements — a really pure love- 
story, mined from the grand old moral bed-rock." Of 
one novel we are told that "not a man in it wears a collar." 
It is a tale of gold-seeking, with the Arizona desert for a 
scene. Life on the ranch and range has always been a big 
seller; simplicity makes a strong appeal to the sophisticated 
of this land. Fanatics of the speed-up are allured by 
languor under the giant tree-ferns of Hawaii, where the 
heart's thirst is satisfied by the hand's thrift, and 
unwedded lovers eat frugally of taro and dried fish. It is 
a standing marvel to the New Yorker what a dollar can do 
in these cradled nests. He pays a dime for each egg 
in the restaurant caviare ; three children at private schools 
run him into nine thousand dollars a year. 

But the best seller of all is the Wholesome in fiction. I 
know a man who sold seven million copies by virtue of a 
God-given secret which was defined by his Chicago publisher 
in a special brochure of boosting. In this pamphlet, 
ministers of religion pay generous homage to this maze of 
letters. Had they not preached from the Big Seller's 
text? So great a man was in more than one sense a 
handful for his publisher. That lucky tradesman jour- 
neyed 2500 miles into the waste with his contract. For 
genius held that the heart of the great reading public 
could only be touched from a hermit hut in the sage and 
sand far away from all distraction. The source and fount 
of big sales was duly pictured in the booklet ; it was a dinky 
abode, eighteen by thirty-five, thatched with arrow-weed 
and furnished with Socratic severity. Here prose epics 
for the million were turned out. Here the Big Seller 
played upon America's soul — "soft and low," as Chicago 
tells us, "like a magnificent organ is played." 

Pre-war America had no great love for heavy reading; 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 251 

it held with Byron that the end of all scribblement is to 
amuse, or at any rate to point a rosy moral. "I haven't 
read a serious book for fourteen years," President Wilson 
owned in one of his rare moods of intimacy. "I read 
detective stories for fun, but very little modern fiction. 
It concerns itself with problems, and I have enough of 
these." So the war-time President falls back upon his old 
favourites. "There are things of Tennyson which have 
comforted me," he owns. ''Where will you find the theory 
of popular government so finely expounded as in The 
Princess?" 

"A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled — 
Some sense of duty, something of a faith, 
Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made, 
Some patient force to change them when we will, 
Some civic manhood firm against the crowd." 

There is much Americanism here, with aspiration 
towards the ideal State; a benign democracy in which 
sorrow and evil are but calls to valour and dignity, that 
these things may cease. "I intimate in a hundred waj's," 
is a Walt Whitman impulse, "that man or woman is as 
good as God!" Yet Secretary Harlan could oust that 
whimsical poet from a humble clerkship as "the author of 
an indecent book!" It is a fact that realists have never 
been popular over there. ' ' The stream of events which we 
call actual" was to Thoreau an abominable mess — "a sort 
of vomit in which the unclean love to wallow." There 
was another and sweeter stream which hurried the spirit 
into the flowery way. Edgar Allan Poe was long classed 
as a wallower; it was not until 1910 that he was admitted 
to America's Hall of Fame. Poe was among the dis- 
reputables — an outcast from clean-living America when 
he returned from Philadelphia with a sick wife and four 
dollars fifty in his wastrel pocket. Yet respectable authors 
were doing well at this time — witness Hawthorne and his 



252 AMERICA'S DAY 

Puritan themes of sin and the soul. He had a fine home in 
the Emerson parsonage at Concord, where Mosses from 
an Old Manse breathed the New England note that "God's 
in His heaven ; all's right with the world." 

Or there was Lowell, Professor of Belles-Lettres at 
Harvard ; abolitionist, diplomat, poet of The Cathedral, 
surveyor of a well-made world from "My Study Windows." 
Lowell could haggle over terms with that magazine harpy, 
Sarah Josepha Hale, who was paying the unfortunate Poe 
fifty cents a page, and receiving grateful letters from 
him. "The price you mention will be amply sufficient," 
the pariah wrote to her. Would Mrs. Hale keep five 
dollars' worth of space for a special feature, "which I will 
endeavour to adapt to the character of The Opal"? So 
the way of the transgressor was hard, the way of a Longfel- 
low serene and smooth, with fear of God and the love of 
man to commend "A Psalm of Life" such as that which 
America loved. 

It is curious to consider Columbia as the Britomart of 
purity, hailed as such by all her poets from Bryant to Bliss 
Carman. The moral tap must be kept running, the arts 
can only defy its cleansing at their peril. In some of the 
States Shakespeare has been banished from the schools: a 
production of Antony and Cleopatra was raided in Chi- 
cago, where culture and civic pride are peculiar obses- 
sions. The Heine fountain in New York was fiercely 
assailed ; paintings in Denver and Kansas City have been 
slashed with the axe of an outraged proletariat. Tess and 
Jude were withdrawn as improper books. 

The successful American writer will resent comparison 
with European realists, however great their fame. Thus 
the late 0. Ilenrj' was aggrieved when an admirer called 
him "the De Maupassant of the United States." "I never 
wrote a filthy line in my life," this author protested to 
Professor Alphonso Smith. "And I won't be classed with 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 253 

bawdy writers." America's foremost periodical is proud 
to claim that its stories "strike twelve, but not sex o'clock!" 
The welter of State laws have at least this in common — that 
they reveal authority "smelling for smut" with the pro- 
fessional zest of a wheat-inspector in Minneapolis. There 
are as man}'- censors of the movies as there are religious 
sects. The lavish Birtli of a Nation was banned in Ohio on 
the ground that it stirred up hatred and racial strife. Nor 
will Ohio allow snakes to be shown on the screen ; the bandit 
may flourish through a five-reel crime only on condition 
that he comes to a bad end. 

In Iowa the clubwomen censored a story that showed a 
bride at breakfast in a sumptuous home. Her husband, it 
was pointed out, was "only on a salary." Therefore 
modish gowns, fine silver, and parquet floors set a danger- 
ous example to the young women of the community. Down 
in Missouri the State is severe upon the amorous motorist. 
His car, it seems, is all too apt to pull up at night with 
all lights out, to the peril of joy-riders behind him, who 
come hurtling through the dark to certain wreckage. The 
man at the wheel, Missouri maintains, may forget himself, 
but he should at least remember the lives and limbs of 
others. Why should the love-god fare forth in a high-pow- 
ered car, and use it as a man-trap in the gloaming? So 
Sheriff Bode and Attorney Ralph declared war upon the 
"one-armed" driver — that public terror whose soul was 
centred on the girl beside him, and not on the road or the 
joyous traffic of it. 

Now and then a literary rebel will scathe all this Puritan 
peering. Thus Theodore Dreiser breaks a lance with the 
vice crusaders; it is only fair to say that he speaks as one 
of the vetoed and forbidden, involved in public odium and 
pecuniary loss. "The average American," this novelist 
complains, "is intellectually bounded by the canons of 
church and Sunday School, as well as by the conventions of 



254 -• AMERICA'S DAY 

his native town. The darkest side of democracy is that it 
permits the magnetic, the cunning, and unscrupulous to 
sway our masses — not so much to their own undoing as to 
the curtailment of natural privilege, and the ideas which 
they should be allowed to entertain if they could think at 
all. ' ' Mr. Dreiser is very severe on the intellectual poverty 
of "a land so devoted to the material, though dedicated by 
its Constitution to the Ideal." 

Another realist whose name carries weight is Abraham 
Cahan; and he also spoke his mind about "our divorced 
life and literature." It was only in the newspaper, Mr. 
Cahan said, that the cultured reader could get a faithful 
reflex of the American scene. Life was faced squarely 
enough in business, in politics, and in the home; yet the 
ablest writers continue to produce little but fluff and 
prettification for that terrible tyrant, the average reader. 
In this discussion professors and critics took a hand; so 
did publishers, novelists, and moralists of the Comstock 
Society — these last concerned to protect "female readers 
of immature mind." 

Mr. R. W. Chambers drenched the debate with common 
sense, scathing American literature as he passed. "What 
is read and criticized as such reflects nothing but the self- 
consciousness, ignorance, and impotency of those who dili- 
gently produce it." Another forceful critic answers the 
self -set question: "What are the judicious to do?" 
"They will do what they have always done — read the lit- 
erature of less pious countries. "Why should I bawl and 
beat my breast because Dr. Howells has written nothing 
comparable to The Revolt of the Angels, or The Nigger 
of the Narcissus? It is much more polite and comfort- 
able to heave Howells at the cat — and read Anatole France 
and Joseph Conrad" ! 

However, Americans are not easily shaken from their 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 255 

sense of well being. They do love the literature of rosy 
thought; they savour goodness — 

"As one who stays the sweet wine in his mouth, 
Murmuring with eased lips, and is most loath 
To have done wholly with the sweet of it." 

There is wide agreement to ignore ugliness and evil, and 
let laughter drown the surge of cosmic mystery and the 
cruelty of things. The "ostrich-literature" is more than 
a tradition: it is the national symbol of huge endeavour, 
and the brave Bossuet-faith which sees our tangles as so 
many golden chains that meet beyond mortal sight at the 
conventional Throne. There are too many people, as O. 
Henry reminds us, who wear life as "a reversible coat, 
seamy on both sides." America has no use for these dole- 
ful fellows. They are nearly always high-brows, like John 
Caspar Branner, Professor of Geology at Leland Stanford 
University in California. Let this scientist tell us of the 
ostrich pose, in so far as it relates to earthquakes on the 
Pacific Coast. 

Here was a group of problems which nature had left at 
the door of a lovely and favoured land. Surely the rail- 
roads would encourage research, and the collection of data 
that might help ? Or what of the telegraph and telephone 
concerns — the electric power and water companies whose 
dams and mains were in constant danger? Insurance 
offices, too, were puzzled over rates and risks. Yet the 
policy of hush "put it over" on them all. Only two con- 
cerns in a land three times the size of England showed any 
interest in Professor Branner 's quest, which was the 
rational study of earthquakes. 

"It seems incredible," this bold man avers, "that the 
business interests of our State should willingly and weakly, 
year after year, allow a permanent threat to hang over their 



256 AMERICA'S DAY 

industries, their transportation-lines and public utilities, 
without making an intelligent effort to investigate the sub- 
ject, or to help those who are willing and anxious to do 
it. Yet such are the sad facts. The result was that the 
great 'quake of 1906 caught us unprepared. Water-mams 
were broken when the city of San Francisco became a rag- 
ing furnace; we were fairlj' trapped in snares of our own 
weaving." 

In a word, California prefers to take her chances and go 
on thinking pink. This was America's chosen outlook till 
the world flamed with war. For two years and more she 
surveyed the wide anguish with expectancy worthy of a 
bench of bishops. The battle-field of France loomed as a 
new Sinai, to be watched afar as from a sanctified camp. 
On that Mount of thunder new laws were being graved for 
the wiser ruling of the race in years to come. America 
lent a sympathetic ear to the Primate of All England, 
preaching in Westminster Abbey on a task of reconstruc- 
tion that glowed through the smoke of ordeal like a pillar 
of fire. . . . "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's 
good pleasure"! So the blood of sprinkling spake better 
things than that of Abel. A portent of this time was the 
insistence upon universal slaughter as a panacea for spir- 
itual and social ills and the ultimate betterment of human- 
ity. Rainbows of Christ were seen gleaming from green 
clouds of the poison -gas. Nests of new-born sweets were 
found in the shell craters; the perfect man would yet be 
gathered from horrid fragments that swung from the 
barbed wire. 

Certainly America, in her neutral day, was kindled with 
shining prophecy of quenched tears. To her the dreadful 
blast was 

"A trumpet in the distance, pealing news 
Of better; and Hope, a poising eagle, burns 
Above the unrisen morrow." 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 257 

I know nothing stranger than the buoyant alchemy 
which turned our shame and torment to new grace in this 
rosy way. It was not confined to Americans — though I 
know no people more nimble in transmuting woe into joy, 
or sublimating boons from the ashes of dread. 

That spirit smiles at us in the work of Mr. W. D. Ilowells, 
the dean of American letters, whom the whole nation 
honoured on the celebration of his eightieth birthday at 
the National Arts Club in New York. All his life Howells 
shrank from moral disease with the pudor of Jane Austen. 
He disliked violence, and rarely dwelt upon unpleasant 
themes. In his early days he renounced a tidy job as a 
reporter, though he knew the value of this "school of 
reality," and "the many lessons in human nature it could 
have taught me." "My longing," this typical American 
tells us, "was for the cleanly respectabilities." After all, 
the goodly outside of life was best. Why stray into gloomy 
recesses where silly gnomes hammer out of their own hearts 
the seeds and sparkles of new misery? This was America's 
view. Je me presse de rire de tout, she confesses, with 
Beaumarchais' hero . . . de peur d'etre obliger d'en 
pleurer! 

Nowadays the old pink thinking is less ebullient. 
America is a conscript nation ; her cities are armed camps, 
with slackers in gaol or fled over the Border into Mexico. 
The continent of peace is converted to force of arms and 
war's philosophy — surely a German triumph of peculiar 
poignance? 

"We must begin with a fresh sheet of paper," President 
Wilson said, as he removed General Goethals from the 
Shipping Board. "And we must do the things that are 
most serviceable." Here we have the bustling motive 
which America imports into all activities, from the church 
to the slaughterhouse. Even her religion is business-like, 
and one must examine it if her spirit and literature are to 



258 AMERICA'S DAY 

be understood. There is no mutiny against a heedless 
God, no tears in eyes that fail with looking upward; no 
murmur of baffled breath, but only the practical prayer 
of Heine — "Give me health, Lord, and a sufficiency 
of money — 'tis all I ask ! " 

America has no quarrel with any cult, from the Quietism 
of Laotze to the devil-dance of Billy Sunday and his pulpit 
slang. An industrious reporter counted a hundred and 
fifty faiths between Mormonism and Christian Science. 
Some of them were winners in a worldly sense. Look 
at John Dowie, who made millions of money in Zion City, 
and came to grief wrestling with sin in New York where 
no sin is (they say), but only will and gratification. Or 
consider Elijah Sandford, the penniless madman who 
began to build a temple on the sandhills of Maine with no 
other possessions than a wheelbarrow and a spade. Soon 
men were selling their farms to support a rascal of whom 
his dupes at last declared that he "hadn't enough religion 
to grease a gimlet." Sandford claimed to raise the dead: 
he talked with the Deity in aisles and minarets where at 
length the rats swarmed in eerie desolation. In his 
decline this man and his Holy Ghosters set seaward in a 
crazy fleet bound for Beirut and the Way of the Cross in 
Palestine. 

The Holy Boilers were ruled by hell-fire and fear; their 
antics surpassed the contortions of an Indian village mela. 
The Brotherhood of Light left the grosser communities, 
and took to the desert four hundred miles south-west of 
Denver, where they lived on apple sauce, dates and water. 
There is no end to these eccentrics. 

"Religion," said Oliver Wendell Holmes, "is the flag 
under which the world sails, but not the rudder that steers 
its course." And America has very many rudders. Here 
religion adapts itself with all the elasticity of Hinduism 
and the rugged wisdom of Islam. 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 259 

Hence all the drastic editing of the Bible; the restating, 
rearranging, and transvaluing of outworn theologies. The 
Protestant Episcopal Church, in General Convention at 
St. Louis, laid easy hands upon the Ten Commandments. 
Clauses that were meaningless or turgid were cut out, 
since the spirit of the age called for brevity and sense. 
Both the marriage and burial services were altered. The 
word "obey" was undesirable, the commendation of St. 
Paul redundant as the wedded loyalty of Isaac and 
Rebecca. 

And at funerals, why should not more cheerful Psalms be 
chosen? The Twenty-Seventh, say — the Forty-Sixth, 
and Hundred and Twenty-First? That gruesome thought, 
"Though after my skin, worms destroy this body," must 
come out altogether. Why depress dutiful citizens at the 
graveside? So the elements of fear and fuss are elimi- 
nated; they are out of place in the New World Prayer 
Book, as they would be in a balance-sheet or a prospectus. 
In short, the American is a radical in religion. Like 
Holmes, he aspires to a wider, more humane and modern 
interpretation of Christianity. 

American intellectuals do not mince their words in this 
matter; let me cite Professor G. Stanley Hall, President 
of Clark University. "Two millennia under the Prince 
of Peace," says this psychologist, "have not prevented 
this colossal and atrocious war. And the Church of Christ 
cannot fail to incur reproach and neglect unless it be relaid 
from the foundations. It stands by; it looks on — aimless, 
helpless, paralysed ; convicted of failure to a degree that 
all the heresies in its history could not have caused. 
True, it mitigates suffering by beneficent ministration; but 
it did nothing to prevent the nations from flying at 
one another's throats, and has been impotent in all its 
efforts to restore peace. Time was when the Church made 
and unmade wars. Today it is a proven bankrupt, an all 



260 AMERICA'S DAY 

but negligible factor. And we have in Christianity, as at 
present understood, verj- little guarantee that the world 
may not at any time lapse into the barbarism and paganism 
of a war of extermination." 

It is common knowledge that this "failure" has been 
canvassed throughout Europe, from Lambeth Palace to 
the Holy Synod of Moscow. The American Churches have 
felt it keenly, and are striving for unity with a view to the 
brotherhood of nations and the prevention of future strife. 
Thirty communions, with eighteen million adherents, now 
form a Federal Council, with committees of wide range 
from the liquor-laws to relations with Japan. The immi- 
grant is taken in hand ; so are divorce and labour condi- 
tions, farm life, home and foreign missions, corrupt poli- 
tics, the Lord's day, slum tenements, and the physical 
and moral well-being of America at large. Yet somehow 
these efforts lack "punch" — to use an expressive American- 
ism. Or if they have it, the country is too huge, too busy 
with doing, to straighten up and reflect upon ghostly 
things. After all, to get ahead is the principal goal; and 
the greatest of sins is the Greek one of missing the mark. 

No complex philosophy sways this people ; no hierarchal 
dogma of life and death, destiny and evolution. American 
clerics are in no way dismayed by the spectacle that met 
Newman as he considered the world, its various history 
and the races of men. "Their mutual alienation, their 
conflicts . . . the disappointments of life, the defeat of 
Good, the success of Evil; physical pain, mental anguish, 
the prevailing intensity of Sin — all this is a vision to dizzy 
and appal, and inflicts upon the mind a sense of profound 
mystery which is absolutely without solution." 

The American saint has no such worry, for his primary 
concern is with social salvation here and now. Quite 
likely, his church has a library and a gymnasium ; a swim- 
ming-pool too, with billiard and card saloons — even a 



THINKING PTNK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 2G1 

"spooning parlour'' where a lad may woo his sweetheart 
under the smiling eyes of the parson's lad}-. There is 
music and laughter over all; the oxygen of good fellowship 
is here infused, and the church community rejoices in it. 
The perfect pastor of such a flock is Dr. Henry M. Edmonds 
of Birmingham, Ala. — a fearless hustler with a world of 
sympathy in his glance. Differing with the Presbyterian 
Board on Old Testament tales, on Sunday games, and the 
question of drink, Dr. Edmonds founded a church of his 
own, which even the negroes may attend. Here local min- 
istry reaches out to the mines and gaols, as well as to the 
roaring industrial plants of this great steel city of the 
South. 

A trained nurse instructs poor mothers in infant care, 
and milk is supplied by the church funds. The men of the 
congregation have in their minister a business friend and 
adviser. On certain days Dr. Edmonds sits in a down- 
town office as the father confessor of traders in trouble. 
And the city pays tribute to his skill in freeing people 
from financial toils. It will therefore be seen that Ameri- 
can religion has little interest in wingy mysteries or omens 
of terror come down to us from far-off times. Supersti- 
tion is largely confined to the alien and coloured races; it is 
also a pastime in the more lavish "native" circles. For 
the Newport cottagers have "recourse to them that have 
familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter." 
No modish gathering is quite complete without its Eastern 
mage installed in a tent on the lawn. 

The masses display a mild interest in theoretical science. 
Sunday supplements of the newspaper will have an astro- 
nomical feature in which this earth of ours is belittled as a 
speck of cosmic dust, with joys and woes too insignificant 
for words when considered sub specie ceternitatis. How 
the sun is a million times bigger than our globe. How 
Arcturus is fifty thousand times greater again, and so 



262 AMERICA'S DAY 

remote that light takes two hundred years to reach us, 
though travelling at a speed equal to the New York-Lon- 
don journey and back in the twentieth part of a second. 
This is excellent high-brow stuff, and fetches an appropriate 
price from the Sunday editor. 

In one corner of the page are vague creepy-crawlies ; 
in the other a portrait of the cheerless Haeckel, or even 
Sir Oliver Lodge, whose views upon Death and Survival 
provide the American ghost story of today. The higher 
physiology sets out soundy theses on "Vitalism," "Mate- 
rialism," and the like. It accounts for everything; pre- 
senting a surgical case in the Crucifixion of Christ, Who 
is said to have" died "from pericarditis with effusion, 
accelerated by the javelin-wound." Or again, here are 
ingenious bridges built by science between the microscopic 
aniceba and the higher man, represented by Dr. Wilson 
and Mr. Edison. The gap is abysmal, of course, but the 
Sunday caterer is equal to it. From the ape to Plato is 
conceded to be a long, long way ; but is it any longer than 
that from Clausewitz to William Jennings Bryan? 

A palaeolithic fashion-page will show the flounced robes, 
the jackets and jewels and sashes, of faded ladies painted 
a'ons ago in the Cretan caves. There is also a column of 
sanitary science, with diagrams from the palaces of Minoan 
priest-kings. All this makes first-rate reading in the Sun- 
day American, whose editor draws the salary of a Cabinet 
Minister. The secular religion of these people reacts upon 
their literature, and the two must be considered together. 
It is the religion of that scientific inquirer who recently 
stated his aim as follows: — "To make discoveries which 
shall, bit by bit, add to the interpretable, subtract from 
the incomprehensible, enlarge the practicable, and thus 
improve our estate upon earth — that is, if we have the good 
sense not to employ our invention to worsen it." 

The scientist may tell quaint tales of men's arboreal 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 263 

ancestry. It is quite possible, he will declare in the Sunday 
paper, that the primate stock came of Therapsid reptilians 
which had become bipedal, and perhaps arboreal. Now 
here is a dandy opening for the write-up man of Mr. 
Hearst's papers. That artist makes ready an impressive 
page which appears in a whole chain of journals from 
Boston to Chicago and thence to Los Angeles on the Pacific. 

"Arboreal uprightness came first," — the ingenious 
writer makes this his foundation. And he builds as he goes, 
boosting the half-human monster who is already three 
parts Man in column four of the yarn and is still growing 
— like the giant at the fair. 

The arboreal climber is hunted through aeons of time, 
and the reader's imagination aided in the process by photos 
of baboons from the Bronx Zoo. The creature's fore-limb is 
soon a mobile arm, his hand a plastic instrument for 
grasping, hanging on, reaching ahead and catching hold. 
Thus early in human history does acquisitiveness appear; 
and from this stage to the portraits of Carnegie and Rocke- 
feller is only a matter of a column and a half. There is a 
big public for pseudo-scientific stuff of this kind. But 
the moral is America's unfaltering faith in man. It 
inspires all the pink thought and the philosophy of smiles ; 
it is the secret of impatience with nescience and pessimism 
of every shade. No doubt the world-war has jarred this 
fond belief. America herself is plunged into the orgy with 
armed establishments on the grand scale such as will not 
pass when Peace reigns again in a sore and smoking world. 

For all that, the United States is slow to put off her 
rosy glasses. She finds comfort in the optimism of Spen- 
cer that, in some way or other, a future race of men will 
become automatically moral. Among the foremost think- 
ers one finds a soul-state of agnostic stoicism. They pick 
to pieces the older Christianity ; they examine dogma by the 
glare of guns, and recite in No Man's Land the sublime 



264 AMERICA'S DAY 

paradoxes of Christ. Their demand is for a lowlier cultus, 
one more in accord with human suffering and sin ; a religion 
of mutual aid and earthly understanding, to be clasped and 
woven into the day's work, and not writ in the starry 
unattainable. "I have the sense of these things," the 
American says with Saint-Beuve, "but not the things 
themselves. ' ' 

They are not other-worldly, these high-brows of the 
United States; they hold, with the late William James of 
Harvard, that "true ideas are those we can assimilate, 
validate, corroborate, and verify" There is the same 
pragmatist appeal to experience and the individual, the 
same self-abandonment to life and the experiment it entails 
in contact with reality. Not long ago Professor J. H. 
Leuba, of Bryn Mawr College, sent out test questions upon 
religion to a thousand men, all more or less distinguished 
in physical science as well as in sociology, history, and psy- 
chology. The results were published hi Dr. Deuba's work: 
The Belief in God and Immortality; and the effect on 
the reader's mind is to persuade him that American leaders 
are in the main freethinkers, or at all events unorthodox 
and various to a degree. 

The sombre Haeckel of Jena preaches the beauty of 
resignation to the hap of chance — a brave acceptance of 
the unavoidable in a scheme of things where heedless 
Nature for ever makes and breaks with a futility which 
eludes our scrutiny. To the American mind this is mon- 
strous. The scientist that counts over there is the "sen- 
sible" man. "Why should the electrician waste his time 
chasing the positive ions when he could send high voltage 
to the Californian vine and kill the costly blight of 
phylloxera? 

It is now asked of Science that she leave ineffable pro- 
blems, and fall in for service at home or abroad. Let the 
chemist drop his molecules and try to abolish famine by 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 265 

laboratory research. Let the inventor abandon liquid air 
and solar heat, to get busy with farm tractors, and a 
mechanical cotton-picker which shall catch the lint and 
leave unripe bolls on the uninjured plant. Such gear as 
this might be the making of the South, and free her from 
economic slavery to the negro whom she abhors. 

I may say that bodily soundness has a literature of its 
own ; the present year will see six hundred books on 
medicine and hygiene published in the United States. How 
is a sick man to go on thinking pink in the traditional 
American way? S3'Stems and theories are set out for him 
by experts like Professor Irving Fisher of Yale, Chairman 
of the Hygiene Board; Dr. Eugene Fisk, of the Life 
Extension Institute; Dr. G. W. Crile, of the Cushman 
Laboratory; and Dr. Robert Morris, whose Microbes and 
Men tells how bilious folks are despondent because the 
"sad" germs — the colon bacilli — are too well fed and 
swarming in the intestine. "I never think of Nietzsche or 
Schopenhauer as philosophers," Dr. Morris says, "but only 
as afflicted men expressing the toxins of anaerobic bac- 
teria." 

There are books and pamphlets against dope and drugs; 
stoke-up counsel for the high-speed job, with a few words 
from Edison at the start, and much about Mithridates — a 
hero who, it seems, had Jim Farrell's memory, the stamina 
of a Texan jack, and the devil's own flair for dodging 
poisons in his food. The foreigner wilts at last under this 
literature of health, with its fusillade of Do's and Dont's 
from every department of life; baby's bottle and the gar- 
bage-can, the papering of rooms, the licking of postage 
stamps, the swatting of flies, and the cuspidor or spittoon, 
which is by no means banished from America in 1918. 

There are national laws about food ; State laws, the laws 
of towns and cities and private concerns. The New York 
Department of Health scatters far and wide free booklets 



266 AMERICA'S DAY 

in English and Yiddish ; there are lectures and movie-shows 
on eugenics, genetics, and dietetics. Sickness, one gathers, 
will soon be a crime ; a clear century of active life is claimed 
as the birthright of every citizen. 

With all this incitement it is no wonder that quackery 
flourishes, from the Park Avenue palace to a shack in the 
Kentucky hills; from the New York surgeon of costly 
stunts down to "ole Aunt Lize," the herbal witch, with her 
dog-fennel and weird roots, her toads and snake-skins, 
cobweb-pills, and charms beyond the Chirurgia Magna of 
Paracelsus. No civilized nation that I know is so intent 
upon mending and moulding, training, dosing, and fortify- 
ing the horse-power of man. Here in America the drug- 
store is become a saloon in disguise — one already known 
as an agency of mischief. It is to the chemist's shop that 
the citizen turns for free treatment when grit blows into 
his eye on the gusty street. Here also he can buy stamps, 
or use the telephone while his wife and the girls sip iced 
drinks at the soda-fountain. But Congress has no illusions 
about the drug-store, its tonics and bitters, its remedies, 
cordials, elixirs and compounds. Many of these contain 
a high percentage of alcohol, and sell the more freely as 
prohibition laws are pushed to fanatical extremes. 

Representative Meeker of Missouri shocked the Lower 
House with a list of 746 patent medicines that warmed the 
cockles of the heart, if they did nothing else. More than 
half of them were twenty per cent, alcohol ; a few were as 
high as ninety per cent. It is not to the ailing, but to 
tipplers that these nostrums appeal, and the rogues who 
sell them manoeuvre skilfully between the vast complex 
of State laws. Then the question of drug addiction grows 
more and more serious, apart from the bracer and pick-me- 
up of the business man. I refer particularly to the craving 
for morphine, heroin, and cocaine which is found among 
all classes, from the rich fldneuse of Newport and New 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 267 

York (o the "bad nigger" of New Orleans: his whisky- 
trade vanished when a raid on the fruit-storer disclosed 
quart bottles of rye inside noble pumpkins priced at $1.60 
each. 

I began to fear, after residence and research in the 
United States, that pink thinking is not so much a native 
trait as a defensive armour for life's battle — that it was, 
in fact, no spontaneous aura, but a rather hard exaction; 
an implicit law punished in the breach and favoured in the 
observance. 

It is true, as Bacon noted, that "the pencil of the Holy 
Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of 
Job than the felicities of Solomon." But such pencils are 
gaily edited in this New World. Even its early Puritan- 
ism, as Professor Channing reminds us, was not so much 
a SA'stem of theology as an attitude of mind. It was 
"idealism applied to the solution of contemporary prob- 
lems." No doubt the war, with all its attendant change, 
will modify this passion, though to what extent it is yet 
too early to determine. Up to now, religion, philosophy, 
and literature have all been tinged with betterment and 
the uplift of man ; the elimination of pain, of unnecessary 
labour and those tiresome chores which swallow up the good 
time and cloud our little span of life. In America tlie 
greatest doctors, psychologists, and men of science seek the 
limelight as popular writers, and contribute their quota 
to the Greek "full" of joy which is the national goal. 

Here a familiar theme is the triumph of great men over 
physical infirmities. These range from the stomach 
troubles of John Rockefeller to the fatness of Eoscoe 
Arbuckle, that merry monster of 320 pounds, who makes 
$100,000 a year as a movie-star. Fatty Arbuckle 's grin 
lights up the billboards for three thousand miles; and the 
secrets of success were wrung from him for the benefit 
of le>sser men. "If work and worry could have made me 



268 AMERICA'S DAY 

thin," he told the sympathetic reporters, "I guess you'd be 
hunting for Fatty this minute with a microscope!" 

Or here again is An Autobiograp) ' y by Edward L. 
Trudeau, M.D. Certainly the American spirit shines 
throughout. At two and twenty this man broke down 
w r ith tuberculosis. He fought hard for every day he lived, 
"contemplating the ceiling" from his bed for twenty years. 
At sixty-three Dr. Trudeau died, after saving thousands 
of lives and building the greatest open-air sanatorium in, 
the West. His Autobiography is pink unto shrillness, with 
insistence upon every page that your true conqueror is he 
who fights with a broken sword. "The fellow who's fully 
equipped," the author maintains, "has no battle on his 
hands, but only a walk-over." 

Here is the rcligio poetoe of the United States. This is 
the laughing mask with which America covers the sinister 
face of things. Every singer warbles the "Excelsior" note. 
No vicious panders of the Martial type are these poets; no 
bitter Juvenals, no doleful bards in the sombre black of 
Tasso, but blithe zealots like Willard Wattles of Kansas, 
who hails a new constructive Christ amid the rippling 
leagues of wheat and green-bannered corn of the Sunflower 
State : 

"Who art thou, Carpenter, 

Of the bowed head? — 

And what buildest thou? 

'Heaven,' He said." 

One must know these regional poets if the real America 
is to be gauged. I consider Vachell Lindsay of Illinois 
a more "American" voice than any Anacreon of New York 
who only sings of love. Lindsay is a truer index to the 
seething of the giant Pot than all the mannered vers 
libristes of the East. Sectional poets now confine their 
fancy to homely themes, as Edgar Lee Masters did in his 
Spoon River lyrics. The prairie town now glows with 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 269 

unwonted splendour. In his "Springfield Magical," Mr. 
Lindsay finds mystery and glamour in prosaic streets; 
the American city is to the poet what Florence was to 
Dante, or Shiraz to the rosy hedonism of Hafiz : — 

"In this, the City of my Discontent, 
Sometimes there comes a whisper from the grass,. 
'Romance — Romance is heie!' No Hindu town, 
Is quite so strange. No citadel of Brass 
By Sindhad found held half such love and hate, 
No picture-palace in a picture-hook 
Such webs of Friendsiiip, Beauty, Greed, and Hate." 

Turn where you may in the United States, the desire for 
sweetness and light is seen. 

The uplift is very loud on the Chautauqua platform — that 
orgy of instruction which may begin with Iroquois tales for 
the children at ten in the morning, and go on till eight at 
night, when a lecture on the torpedo's gyroscope winds up 
an overflowing day. A mushroom city of three hundred 
souls will have its culture-club. In due time the Browning 
cult appears, to flower at last into a Shakespeare celebration 
under the Drama League of Chicago. This is a nation- 
wide concern, affiliated with hundreds of libraries, universi- 
ties, and civic societies for both sexes and all America's 
races. 

Today the levelling-up of taste extends from the child's 
book to the crusade against ugly hoardings which threaten 
to spoil the new national roads which are being laid from 
sea to sea. There is the Lincoln Highway, in which twelve 
States are interested ; it will be 3284 miles long, linking 
New York and San Francisco for the motorist in a direct 
line. The South plans a Dixie Highway, which will be 
longer still ; the West has more than one such road, notably 
the scenic stretch known as the Columbia, which runs for 
two hundred miles through the Cascade Mountains of Ore- 
gon. 



270 AMERICA'S DAY 

It was here that the billboard man was warned off. A 
new race of aesthetes will have no giant cows shrieking 
somebody's milk on the sky-line. No Heinz cans should 
disfigure the glorious landscape, no monstrous babe calling 
for a favourite food, or forty-foot Fatimas lolling on the 
bluffs to boom a famous cigarette. To their credit be it 
said that most of the advertisers agreed. A few rebelled, 
of course, and set up claimant horror by lake and hill and 
torrent. But the Oregonians were not to be trifled with. 
They turned out in force with flame and violence ; more- 
over, there was to be a boycott of these offending wares. 
Tar and feathers haunted the billboard man till he agreed 
that Beauty was best — at any rate in the Grape and Apple 
State. 

I cannot deal at any length with the American stage, 
which was so well guarded for forty years by the late 
William Winter, the famous critic of the New York Tribune. 
When this man frowned a play was damned ; his favour 
had the "Broadway appeal" in it, and fat bank rolls alike 
for author and producer. Mr. Winter could be very pru- 
dish ; he was nearly always pugnacious, loathing "immoral" 
themes and scathing them in terms that shocked his milder 
brethren. This despot had a horror of Ibsen ; he set his 
face against most of the translations — French, German, 
and Russian. Not even the acting of W. II. Crane could 
save a comedy of Octave Mirbeau, though it bore the 
promising title Business Is Business. Here the play itself 
passed the Puritan muster, but it was a sombre theme 
of bitter unjoyous aspect, therefore success was impossible. 

Everybody knows that men of genius are appreciated in 
the United States. The famous painter is made much of 
there; so is the tenor of lyric passion, the pianist of rhap- 
sodic fireworks, the Wunderkind who takes the town by 
storm with a Guarnerius violin and a Tourte bow that 
would tame the devil himself. 



THINKING PINK AS A NATIONAL OUTLOOK 271 

It is curious how these high priests of art take to the 
dollars, however dreamy and unworldly they may be at 
home : America has no illusions upon this score. A pictur- 
esque alien of renown was offered $40,000 for eight concerts 
at which none but the So and So piano was to be used. Did 
the musician accept it ? He did, although none too gladly. 
The great man's face, we learn from the cynics, fell "like a 
cook-book cake," for he thought the fee was to have been 
bigger. "He'd play on a tin kettle if you made it worth his 
while," the agent confessed with shocking frankness. No 
wonder the American humorist considers music "the most 
expensive of noises. ' ' But even he agrees that America will 
hire the world's foremost artists at any price — the sculptor, 
the designer of dress ; the Slav boy -fiddler with a left hand 
of flawless magic, such as draws tears down the iron cheek 
of Success and raises to life the spiritual death which is 
Vulgarity. 

A generation ago Matthew Arnold gave high-brow counsel 
to the United States where he perceived an inveterate 
drift towards commonness. "What the Americans most 
urgently require," their superior visitor said, "is a steady 
exhibition of cool and sane criticism." In this matter 
Arnold himself led the way, quoting Goethe's warning 
against mob-movement and excessive homage to King 
Demos and his noisy train : the Americans, our apostle of 
culture found, had too much esteem for the average man 
and deferred unduly to his wishes. Their Press was "an 
awful symptom," their education of the "brisk and flour- 
ishing" variety, which the critic feared was "more than 
doubtful" in results. 

Matthew Arnold praised Emerson for his roseate views, 
but he was afraid they went too far. Nor did the English 
visitor agree with the Ohio lady who found Syrian roses on 
each common bush, and excellence in lavish riot. On the 
contrary, Arnold held that "excellence dwells among rocks 



272 AMERICA'S DAY 

hardly accessible, and a man must always wear out his 
heart before he can reach her." That is the lesson which 
is being driven home today. And as the old illusions 
wither, a new hope grows that the reconstructed world will 
find in American ideals that "moral equivalent for war" 
which William James desired. 

"Each one of us literally chooses," the American philo- 
sopher said, "by his ways of attending on things, what sort 
of a universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit." From 
the first America's choice was a goodly Eden which no 
serpentry could wholly spoil. It is unlikely that pink 
thinking will easily pass or that this people will be quickly 
convicted of error in its radiant creed. You may demon- 
strate the futility of it; you may point to ravening war as 
a proof of incurable evil. But America will always cut 
you short with her eager Browning outburst: "Ah, but 
a man's reach should exceed his grasp — or what's heaven 
for?" 



CHAPTER XV 

THE WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 

"By the rubbish in our wake, and the noble noise we make, 
Be sure, be sure we're going to do some splendid things!" 

It is in no flippant vein that I set down these lines of Kipling. 
Every American knows how well they express the hub-bub 
and friction of official Washington in the time of Prepara- 
tion for war. The fervid clamour for Congress and its 
advisers, the prodding and protest of newspapers, the 
shrilling of cranks and patriots in conflict with wiser 
counsels; the efforts of willing or wilful men, no doubt 
in earnest, but still a real hindrance, no less harmful 
than the plot and rumour of German agents and tools. 
There was uproar everywhere ; a cheery tumult in which 
everybody fed the flames with such fuel as he had, until 
responsible men called a halt in the anxious riot. "Less 
shindies and more ships," was the shrewd appeal in this 
distracting season. 

America groped and staggered after splendid things with- 
out regret for the unfamiliar mists enfolding them. An 
unmartial people was now rough-hewing Armies and 
equipping Navies of the sea and air for service abroad 
against the most warlike people of all. These things 
democracy must do in its own way, imbibing discipline in 
doubtful gulps as it floundered into battle. This is natu- 
rally the way of blunders; our own Prime Minister hinted 
as much when he drew America's attention to Britain's 
unready record and the lessons it afforded the latest cham- 
pion of our cause. 

In all ages leaders have complained about Liberty's 

273 



274 AMERICA'S DAY 

legions; they are hard to handle, and apt to become 
tyrannous in a crisis. History teems with instances of 
this, from the city-State of ancient Greece to the Ireland of 
Sinn Fein and the tragi-comic violence of revolution ary 
Russia. The trials of Cromwell and Washington come 
back to us now with new force. Danton's struggle with 
the Girondins and Lincoln's with his "Copperheads" have 
a parallel in Kerensky's stand against the Bolsheviki that 
overthrew him. 

As for America, it is plain that the early Fathers put no 
great faith in the common people. Richard Henry Lee 
was all for a "regulated liberty, so that the ends and prin- 
ciples of society may not be disturbed by the fury of 
the mob." Jefferson was anxious to curb the supremacy of 
the new Legislature. "One hundred and seventy-three 
despots," the famous democrat was afraid, "would surely 
be as oppressive as One." It was to guard against these 
perils that the State Constitutions were provided with 
elaborate checks based upon the division of power favoured 
by Montesquieu. Hence a curious distinction between Con- 
stitutional and Statute law, such as is unknown in our own 
polity; it has given peculiar authority to the Judges, who 
replaced the Legislatures as the ultimate guardians of 
popular liberty. 

In 1911 President Wilson, then Governor of New Jersey, 
spoke very plainly on this subject. "If we felt," he said, 
"that we had genuine representation in our State Legis- 
latures, no one would propose the 'Initiative' and 'Refer- 
endum' in America. They are now being proposed as 
a means of bringing our representatives back to the con- 
sciousness that what they are bound in duty and policy 
to do is to represent the sovereign people whom they pro- 
fess to serve, and not the private interests which creep into 
their councils by way of machine orders and committee 
conferences." 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 275 

The past few years have seen astonishing reforms. Thus 
the Non-Partisan League swept North Dakota with a 
Socialist demand for public utilities under State control — 
grain-elevators and milk supplies; markets and slaughter- 
houses, with hail-insurance for the farmer and rural credits 
on a new ingenious basis. So drastic a program called 
for alteration in the State Constitution, but this has already 
become a mania with the Commonwealths. 

This appetite for change, together with the lingering 
sectionalism of the continent, accounts in part for the 
war-time confusion that raged in Washington. Certainly 
the men in authority were aware of the peril of this 
tumult ; witness the humorous inversion of President Wil- 
son's dictum by Covernor McCall of Massachusetts — 
"Democracy must be made safe for the world!" Individ- 
ualism was well enough in the abstract ; it was mere suicide 
when face to face with the German Wille zu Macht, intent 
upon conquest and exploration. Here the collapse of Rus- 
sia, was cited, and America's millions rallied to militancy 
for Freedom's sake. At one time the Eastern States 
rebuked the West for an alleged war apathy — which was 
said to put the Mississippi Valley "behind the field-kitch- 
ens" of the battle-line. The}' were a flabby folk, out there, 
provincial and pacifist, sodden with selfishness and mate- 
rialism ; pro-Germans, flush-timers, and the like. I quote 
the ironic comments of the West when the recruiting records 
had turned the tables upon those censors of the Atlantic 
coast. 

It was Alfred Zimmermann, the German Foreign Min- 
ister, who stirred the trans-Alleghany farmers to vivid 
wrath with the egregious letter he wrote to Von Eckhardt, 
his envoy in Mexico City. In this' it was suggested that 
President Carranza should seek the aid of Japan, and 
then with German backing make an onslaught upon the 
United States with a view to the reconquest of "lost 



276 AMERICA'S DAY 

territory in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas." America 
was staggered at this. Her irrepressible humorists fell 
mute in the face of a perfidy that jarred the nation into 
vengeful unity overnight. 

That letter was in President "Wilson's hands when 
Bethmann Hollweg was cooing about those ''friendly rela- 
tions with the United States which have come down as a 
heritage from Frederick the Great." Zimmermann dates 
his letter January 19, 1917. And twelve days later 
Johann von Bernstorff handed Mr. Lansing a Note in which 
the following appears: "The German people repudiate all 
alliances which serve to force the nations into a com- 
petition for power, or to involve them in a net of selfish 
intrigue." 

The Zimmermann letter was the most dramatic discovery 
of the war, so far as America was concerned. 

It was a God-send to President Wilson, for it grappled 
the "West to him as nothing else could have done. For 
the first time. "America's war" lowered up on ranch and 
prairie with searching blast. It was Prussian intrigue 
that stiffened Wilson's Reply to the Pope's Note. "We 
cannot take the word of the present rulers of Germany 
as a guarantee of anything that is to endure. . . . Treaties 
of settlement, agreements for disarmament, covenants to 
set up arbitration in the place of force ; territorial adjust- 
ments, reconstitutions of small nations, if made with the 
German Government, no man, no nation, could now 
depend on." When was a great Empire so branded and 
shamed? And how startling was the confirmation found 
in those "Willy-Nicky" telegrams of 1904, published by 
the New York Herald. In them was a plot aimed by the 
Kaiser at "the Anglo-Saxon group." 

Next came the frigid orders for wholesale murder sent 
by Count Luxburg from Buenos Aires with secret Swedish 
aid. There was also Baron von Rautenfels. This man 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 277 

arrived at Christiania with two hundred bombs in his 
baggage, and Foreign Office seals to ensure their use in 
sinking ships and drowning non-combatants at sea. 
America was bewildered. So the German Emperor, his 
envoys abroad, his officers on land and afloat — what were 
they all but a gang of callous Thugs for whom the rope 
and shot-gun of the lynching party were altogether too 
mild a fate? The Republic was awake at last; aware of 
her own danger too, and very angry indeed. 

Her first Army in France represented every element in 
the United States, from the alien volunteer to the million- 
aire conscript. The students of Yale were there with The 
Bowery toughs, Virginian planters, Rocky Mountain min- 
ers, and lumber-men of the North-West. There were stock- 
riders, and stockbrokers; there were Red Indians — like F. 
W. Riches, a full-blood Cherokee of Oklahoma, who was 
already a decoree of France and a noted flier since 1914. 
Lieut. 0. Loft, in charge of the redskin Forest Service in 
France, was himself a chief of the Mohawk tribe ; the Sixth 
Wisconsin Regiment had whole platoons of Chippewas from 
the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. 

So the revolution was complete, confounding the prophets 
and politicians. There was no frothy rage or red fire. 
"We go into it gravely," said the New York Times. "Our 
mood of 1917 is not that of 1898 (the Spanish-American 
War). Yet America's mood in 1917 is that of France in 
1914: our enemy can take no comfort from the fact." 
There is no desire to impress unwilling soldiers, the ideal of 
a consecrated army was emblazoned on the first recruiting 
banners — "Be a Went, Not a Sent!" In his hints to the 
Exemption Boards President Wilson defined the delicate du- 
ties entrusted to them, between "the most sacred rights of 
the individual and the untarnished honour of the nation." 
"Our armies at the front," he felt, "will be strengthened 
and sustained if they be composed of men free from any 



278 AMERICA'S DAY 

sense of injustice in their mode of selection." And to this 
end the draft system was altered again and again. 

The .margin of man-power was immense. There are in 
the United States 22,000,000 males of militia age — that is, 
between eighteen and forty-five. No more than five per 
cent, of these were to be called until the establishments were 
ready for more. Objectors who quoted the "involuntary 
servitude" clause of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Con- 
stitution were reminded that this did not apply to soldiering 
in time of national stress. There were Exemption Boards 
for every 30,000 of the population, with the right of appeal 
to a Board of Review in each Federal District. Civil serv- 
ants and divinity students were excused. So was the con- 
scientious objector; the sailor, the artificer, and all indus- 
trial and agricultural hands. No man with a wife and 
child, or other dependents, was enlisted ; neither was the 
resident alien who had not yet taken out his first papers of 
citizenship. 

Of these drifters the last Census showed two and a quar- 
ter millions, many of them subjects of Germany, Austria, 
Turkey, and Bulgaria. A special Act of Congress raked in 
the Allied nationals for service under their own flags; but 
on the whole America was disgusted with her sans-patries, 
and pressed for drastic measures against them. "This is a 
poor time," the shirkers were reminded, "for a man with- 
out a country." Freedom was tossing and straining upon 
stormy seas, so the alien was asked to "bail, row, or go 
ashore." 

I must also mention political influence in the working of 
the Exemption Boards. Congress was stirred with rancour 
over the assignment of local quotas according to population. 
The most startling allegation came from the Northern 
States. Their spokesmen declared that the Draft Census 
had been so juggled as to throw a disproportionate burden 
of service upon them, with a corresponding immunity south 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 279 

of the Mason and Dixon line. So hotly was this grievance 
pressed that Mr. Samuel Rogers, Director of the Census 
Bureau, was suninioned to the Senate to explain how he 
arrived at his estimates for 1917, basing them on the re- 
turns of 1900 and 1910. 

But all this sectional stress — this "oppression" of the 
North by a Democratic administration — melted away .when 
the President appealed for unity with incomparable dig- 
nity and tact. Human freedom was at stake "to be wholly 
won or meanly lost," as Lincoln said when he stood alone 
among betrayers, resisting them all. This was no season for 
fruitless talk. "We have a chance to show," Dr. Wilson 
urged, "that the principles we profess are living principles; 
we are glad to pour out our blood and treasure to vindicate 
these things." 

No one in this country, and not many in the United 
States, have a clear idea of the forces arrayed against the 
Federal Government in its task of waking the nation's war- 
will and developing and maintaining its power. For a 
hundred years America has been a land of refuge, an asylum 
where Liberty was given extravagant interpretation. And 
this was treated with lenience till the Day of trial came. 

The anti-American forces may be divided into pacifism, 
Socialism, Irishry, Germanism, indifference, and downright 
anarchy. All of these — apathy alone excepted — were very 
noisy; each had its own press and hordes of adherents 
intent upon clogging the war machine by every known 
means, from sabotage to wholesale matrimony. The cause 
of Peace so multiplied its labours as to become unwieldy. 
Therefore a Clearing-House was formed to co-ordinate the 
activities of the Emergency Peace Federation, the Church 
Peace Union, the American Union against Militarism, the 
Neutral Conference Committee, and the Woman's Peace 
Party. To the last named that veteran social worker, 
Jane Acldams of Chicago, lent her strenuous aid. 



280 AMERICA'S DAY 

Peace at any price had a backing in the Senate among 
that "little group of wilful men representing no opinion but 
their own, ' ' whom the President declared had left America 
"helpless and contemptible in the midst of a crisis of ex- 
traordinary peril." I recall this episode as one of the 
many milestones on the via dolorosa of Preparedness. For 
at last that stormy way grew thick with unlooked-for con- 
verts and devotees. There came a time when the mildest of 
pilgrims preached a Pacifist War against Prussianism. 
Had not Hoover and Gerard trailed the vileness of it from 
the slave-pens of "Wavre in Brabant to the drear typhus- 
hell of Wittenberg, where British prisoners died obscenely, 
crawling with lice and torn by savage dogs ? It was a holy 
and wholesome thing to war with an organized terror which 
seventy million people backed so long as it promised them 
power. 

Gerard's account of the lawless Kaiser eclipsed that of 
Ambassador Dana in 1781, when Frederick the Great was 
flaunting his brazen guns as the last reasoning of force and 
fraud. Dana considered Frederick "as complete a despot 
as hath ever been sent into this world for a curse to man- 
kind." It was Frederick's successor who told Gerard that 
no laws of war existed between the nations — "and to this 
statement the Chancellor agreed." 

To America, therefore, it grew clear that Kaiserism must 
be stamped out if Freedom was to survive the calculated 
pounce of 1914. It was a reluctant lesson; but Woodrow 
Wilson — the "Princeton Professor" of the Berlin satirists — 
had ten million men in his class when the application of it 
became an imperious need. 

Then was the new America born. Then it was that 
Bryan himself preached war from the Chautauqua platform 
— that peculiar vehicle of bourgeois culture in the United 
States. "The more any one favours peace," the Nebraskan 
orator said, "the more loyally should he support the Gov- 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 281 

eminent." In Chicago — that stronghold of hyphenism — 
Mr. Bryan went much further. "I've been a pacifist all 
my life," the ex-Foreign Minister owned in a famous apol- 
ogia; "but the sort of peace I'm after is one that lasts. 
There's only one way to attain it now, so we should all get 
together and fight the devil ! ' ' Here also was Henry Ford, 
of peace-ark fame, "prepared to go to the limit in this 
struggle." 

But the unlikeliest of all belligerents was surely the Peace 
Society, which rallied to "the cause of humanity at large"; 
its placid organ, The Advocate, was now hailed as a good 
loser by the laic press. "If our members," The Advocate 
said, "can conscientiously engage in active service they will 
do so ; if not, they will lend their efforts behind the firing 
line. . . . We must all help in the bayoneting of a normally 
decent German in order to free him from the tyranny which 
he at present accepts as his chosen form of government." 

This change of heart was mainly a domestic process. It 
owed little or nothing to Allied suasion, and a great deal to 
American pacifists employed on relief work in all the zones 
of havoc from the Danube to the Meuse. This is not the 
place to speak of benevolence which covered Europe and 
crossed over into Asia at Beirut to keep the Syrians from 
starving. American Jews heard the Kadish or prayer of 
mourning from the Polish provinces. They replied with 
millions of dollars, as well as with foodstuffs and warm 
clothing, doctors, nurses, and business administrators. 
The same work went on in stricken Serbia, in Albania and 
Montenegro, in Flanders and Northern France, where "the 
kiddies" were crying; their cries reached the Iowa prairie, 
where the Farmer's Acre was soon sacred to their wants. 

Americans engaged in relief work took dreadful testi- 
mony home with them, when they went to report or appeal 
for funds on the lecture platform. Take Vernon Kellogg, 
Director of the Belgian Commission in the two neutral 



282 AMERICA'S DAY 

years of war. He is Professor of Biology at Leland Stan- 
ford University, and as fervid a peace-man as his colleague, 
Dr. David Starr Jordan. No man living has seen Prussian- 
ism in the raw as Victor Kellogg has, from Warsaw in the 
East to Great Headquarters at Charleville, where he was 
the guest of German officers of all grades — the veteran gen- 
eral and the subaltern of eighteen straight from Heidelberg 
with sabre-slashed face. Here, then, was unique oppor- 
tunity to seize the German point of view, the perverted 
Weltanschauung which had strewn the earth with corpses 
and now skimmed the baby's milk for explosive glycerine. 

''The discussions," Dr. Kellogg says, "would begin at 
dinner and last far into the night. As we talked we tried 
to understand each other." But Deutschheit, the Ameri- 
can concludes, "will never allow any land controlled by it 
to exist peacefully beside a people governed according to 
our ideals." The guest perceived in his hard-drinking 
hosts "a whole-hearted acceptance of the worst of neo- 
Darwinism — the Allmacht of natural selection rigorously 
applied to all human life, society and Kultur." . . . "I was 
convinced that this war must be fought to a finish which will 
determine whether or not the German system is to rule the 
world." It was for this reason that the Director of Belgian 
Relief went home a converted man — "an ardent supporter," 
he was careful to say, "not of war, but of this War." It 
was a distinction that spread like a name. Not without pro- 
test, however, from "those dangerous elements," as Presi- 
dent Wilson called them, "who hide their disloyalty behind 
a screen of specious and evasive words." 

So numerous were these, so reckless and determined in 
anarchy, that I can only outline their malignity. The 
draft-resisters of Central Oklahoma called themselves the 
Working Class Union. They were a serious trial to Gov- 
ernor R. L. W T illiams of the Wonder-State, for they en- 
listed ' ' bad niggers, ' ' Indians, and alien tenant farmers, in 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 283 

a league of terror that flashed through three of the wilder 
counties. It may be well to remind the reader that in the 
United States a regular police force is unknown outside the 
larger cities; so that sparsely -settled regions have to rely 
upon the Sheriff and his civilian posse, who are too often a 
law unto themselves. This is one of the root causes of 
lynching. 

Cranks of a tamer breed invaded Minnesota under Louis 
Lochner, of Peace-Ark notoriety; this man claimed to 
speak for two million workers. Lochner 's convention was 
vetoed by Governor Burnquist, who declared "it would 
have no other effect than to aid and abet our enemies." 
So all facilities were denied. Ilerr Lochner \s train — the 
"White Rabbit Special" — rolled back and forth in vain 
quest of asylum for the so-called People's Council. The 
hotelkeepers of Milwaukee and St. Paul closed their doors 
against the party. At last Lochner 's followers were asked 
to bring their own tents, as well as pots and pans, for a 
desert meeting far from the tyrannous crowd. 

The Socialists were truculent and shrill till the Federal 
Government handled them roughly. Their bosses were 
Morris Hillquit (born in Russia), Victor Berger (born in 
Austria), Julius Gerber, and Boris Reinstein — the delegate 
to Stockholm whose passport was at last rescinded. The 
passing of Conscription caused disruption in the Socialist 
ranks. Real Americans like Upton Sinclair, Allan Benson, 
and J. S. Phelps Stokes broke away from the party. A very 
able member, Charles E. Russell, was expelled for going 
to Russia with Elihu Root's Mission. Therefore little was 
left but a cultus of pro-Germanism upon which the Depart- 
ment of Justice descended with a heavy hand, because of 
its treasonous propaganda. Irish-American editors were 
now ordered to refrain from attacks upon England, whom 
the United States had joined in Democracy's war. The 
Irish also were divided. Patrick Egan, a former Minister 



284 AMERICA'S DAY 

to Chile, charged John Devoy, the editor of the Gaelic- 
American, with plotting the Dublin Rebellion with thv, 
aid of German money, as well as exporting arms and 
ammunition in defiance of American neutrality. 

It is certain that Anglophobia of this kind passed decent 
bounds. The "flag of the Irish Republic" was presented 
to Lieut. Wacker, of the U-53, who sank ships in American 
waters. "We shall hoist this flag in honour of Ireland," 
the assassin said as his boat left, "when we sink the next 
English ship." Folly of this kind added to President 
Wilson's burden. The Clan-na-Gael orators cried "Death 
to England!" from a soap-box at the street corner. The 
Irish-American press preached open sedition ; at a hyphen- 
ate meeting in New York, an officer of the Irish Volunteers 
struck a reporter with his sword because the man refused 
to rise when "Die Wacht am Rhein" was played by the 
orchestra. 

All this faction was Unanimously condemned; American 
common sense would have none of it. "It is incompre- 
hensible to me," the President said, "how any frank or 
honest person can doubt or question my position with 
regard to this war and its objects. ... I can conceive 
no purpose in seeking to becloud the matter, except the 
purpose of weakening our hands and making the part we 
are to play in this great struggle for human liberty an 
inefficient and hesitating part." 

Mayor Mitchel of New York, himself the grandson of an 
outlawed Irish patriot — forbade anti-Ally speeches, and 
refused police protection to Jeremiah O'Leary and other 
firebrands of the Clan-na-Gael. Of course, mob fights 
ensued. An Irish captain of police gave an order to his 
Irish squad — and the New York streets beheld civil war 
of a new kind, with citizen "Vigilantes" aiding the forces 
of order against the Clan-na-Gael mob. Mr. T. P. O'Con- 
nor poured oil upon these troubled waters. Ex- Ambassador 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 285 

Gerard (whose life was threatened in Chicago) told the 
Irish that their pro-German leaning would change to fury 
if they could but see the camp at Limburg where "Irish 
prisoners are dying of starvation and tuberculosis." . . . 
He got secret news that the Prussian Guards were shooting 
and killing their Irish captives. One prisoner was killed 
whilst Mr. Gerard was inquiring into the murder of an- 
other. "There is no telling how many were shot down by 
their custodians." This was after the fiasco of Roger Case- 
ment's recruiting visit. 

Meanwhile "America first" was a national watchword of 
rising sternness. Again and again the President insisted 
upon unity of aim; the gigantic conflict he was directing 
would (he declared) not only remove the last vestige of 
difference between North and South, but also "any lines, 
of race or association, cutting athwart the great body of 
the nation." He met hindrance still, however, from the 
Senate Chamber to far Viatka in Russia, where returned 
emigrants were abusing America and a democratic regime 
which, these renegades vowed, was more cruel and tyran- 
nical than any Tsardom. These Russo-Americans did much 
to nullify Mr. Root's Mission; the Bolsheviki were told it 
was nothing but "a Wall Street venture conducted by the 
Chief Tory of the country." 

Impatient people in Paris and London knew little of the 
dark forces with which President Wilson was battling. 
He had the Press on his side, however. The intellectuals 
hailed him as America's Man of Destiny; the ideal Execu- 
tive whom Lowell pictured years ago — "so gently guiding 
public sentiment that he seems to follow it ; so instinctively 
grasping the temper and prejudices of the people as to 
make them gradually conscious of his own superior wis- 
dom." Wilson's opportunity was now declared greater 
than that of Washington or Lincoln. The saviour of the 
Union, it was pointed out, was at first thought a White 



286 AMERICA'S DAY 

House misfit by reason of his rough exterior and backwoods 
breeding. On the other hand, it was as a high-brow that 
Wilson was mistrusted. How should a book-worm steer 
forty-eight rugged and striving Commonwealths through 
the storms ahead? What sort of President should an his- 
torian make when the world was aflame ? — a man of letters, 
a fine gentleman, and no mob-orator at all? Yet hearken 
to his voice in the thunder's mouth: "Woe be to the man 
or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in this Day 
of high resolution, when every principle we hold dearest 
is to be vindicated and made secure for the salvation of 
all!" 

The foes at home were more difficult to deal with than 
any foreign enemy. Their tactics changed from day to day. 
Their tools and catspaws were Protean shadows sheltered 
by kState laws; it was impossible to disentangle motives in 
treason's twilight zone. The German Embassy, we know, 
was the headquarters of a dynamite diplomacy. It was 
efficient in its way and spent tens of millions in wicked 
work ranging from alarmist rumours to infernal machines. 
Three thousand miles off, in San Francisco, Consul-General 
Bopp and the Saxon Attache, Von Brincken, were hiring 
bombers at $'300 a month and a bonus on each successful 
job — say a ship bound for Vladivostok or a train load of 
horses for the Allies, bridges and tunnels on the railways; 
munition works, warehouses, and docks. The forces of 
Deutschtum were at one time blatant, at any rate in the 
German- American journals, of which there were not less 
than four hundred and fifty in the United States. I fancy 
these misread the average hyphenate; he was wary and 
prudent throughout, and sat on the fence, mindful of his 
stake in the richest of countries. Ninety per cent, of him 
came down on the American side, leaving a band of plot- 
ters, incendiaries, and strike-fomenters upon whom Chief 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 287 

Justice Covington moved with all the might of the Federal 
Government. 

The fact should not be forgotten that America is partly- 
German, and that, however loud hyphenate loyalty may be, 
there remains an alien menace of great boldness and sway, 
shifting with the fortune of war and current feeling in the 
Fatherland. There were.spies in the White House itself, as 
the leakage of the Wilson Peace Note showed. The Naval 
Affairs Committee of the Senate were told by Secretary 
Daniels that important letters had been stolen from confi- 
dential files of the Ordnance Bureau. Senators Tillman 
and Chamberlain, men high in the War Council, admitted 
the daring and success of traitors ; no military or industrial 
secret could be hidden from them. The German hope — as 
Secretary Lane expressed it — "of mastering the world by 
high explosive and low intrigue," was luridly pursued in 
America, which offered unique scope and immunity. 

The hyphenate danger was complicated by the dual 
allegiance sanctioned by Paragraph 25 of the German 
Citizen Law, passed by the Bundesrath and Reichstag and 
made effective on January 1, 1914. This measure — semel 
Germanus semper Germanus — superseded the old law of 
1870, whereby nationality was lost after ten years' residence 
abroad, or by declaring fealty to a foreign State. The new 
Bill was framed by Baron von Richthofen, who explained 
that "it permitted Germans who, for motives of an eco- 
nomic kind are compelled to acquire a foreign nationality, to 
retain at the same time their Reichsangehoerigkeit." Of 
course this duality nullifies the Bancroft Treaty, and es- 
tablishes a conflict which, as Senator Lodge pointed out to 
State Secretary Lansing, ' ' is contrary to American law and 
incompatible with our oath of allegiance." 

The President was also troubled by labour violence of an 
anarchic type, and by the high-handed methods of State 



288 AMERICA'S DAY 

Governors in suppressing it. I refer especially to that out- 
lawed body, the Industrial Workers of the World, whose 
organ declares that: "Property, whether material or in 
the form of specialized labour, has ceased to exist for the 
proletariat. ' ' 

The I. W. W., as this singular body is called, works with 
bomb and torch and terrorism. "They can't stop us," was 
the boast of Boss Hey wood. "We- — the rough-necks of the 
world — will go on till we take control of all production, 
working how and when we please. The man who makes 
the wagon shall ride in it himself. ' ' Another leader hoped 
the I. W. W. "would keep the soldiers so busy in the indus- 
trial centres of the West, that they'll have no time to fight 
the Germans." There was warfare in the Desert States, 
and it is worth while to consider it if one is to grasp the 
bewildering complexity of American conditions. Twelve 
strikes were engineered in the anthracite coal regions. 
Anti-conscription literature was freely circulated, together 
with pamphlets urging riot and gaol delivery for the men 
who had refused to register for military service. In South 
Dakota vast grain-fields were mapped out with a view to 
burning the crops ; and Food Controller Hoover had the 
grain-elevators of the State protected with barbed wire 
and armed guards. 

"There's the devil to pay out here," came across the 
Rockies to New York. "Strikes reasonable and unreason- 
able occur, and they spread and multiply. Fires have been 
started, and wells poisoned. Helpless workers are stoned 
and beaten. Treason is openly preached. Our Army is 
reviled; and soap-box orators, foaming with anarchy, are 
bedevilling the cow-town communities." Federal officers 
conferred with Samuel Gompers, of the Labour Federation, 
and it was proved that German money backed the wickedest 
designs. At seditious meetings a portrait of Karl Marx 
would be displayed, with his favourite motto in many Ian- 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 289 

guages: ''Workers, unite ! You have only your chains to 
lose and a world to win." 

There was never at any time a genuine Labour movement 
against the President's plans. On the contrary, Labour 
stood behind the Government "like a stone wall," as James 
Duncan said, ' ' in its fight against autocracy. ' ' 

Meanwhile the President, radiant in summer garb, and 
carrying a big flag, led his early conscripts from the Peace 
Monument to the White House. Here he addressed them 
from the reviewing-stand with his usual sense of fitness and 
felicity. "The eyes of all the world," Dr. Wilson said, 
"will be upon you, because you are in a special sense the 
soldiers of freedom." The first half million were soon 
housed in sixteen model townships, each with 40,000 recruits 
in training. These and other specialized camps rose as it 
were miraculously in their chosen sites. At Quantico the 
Potomac flats and Virginia hills had a new Aldershot set 
in their midst. Dense woods disappeared, roaring war 
opened in the tranquil spaces with French and British ex- 
perts directing it. 

At Dayton, 0., great farms were obliterated by thousands 
of teams, and by workmen both black and white. Six 
weeks saw an aviation camp laid out here, with miles of 
hangars, acres of machine-shops, barracks, lecture-halls and 
offices. For the aerial arm alone Congress appropriated 
$640,000,000. It was in tens of thousands that machines 
were ordered so as to ensure that "crushing superiority" 
which the French High Commissioner declared would break 
the trench deadlock and end the war. Under General 
G. O. Squier (a formed Attache in London) aerodromes 
were built at Mineola, L. I., at Newport News, Pensacola, 
Detroit, Champaign, and San Diego. Admiral Peary took 
charge of the Aerial Coast patrol, with its sentinel cordons 
and squadron stations. The Mexican Border was soon to 
be made safe in this way. Had not Pershing praised the 



290 AMERICA'S DAY 

wings of war that carried his mails over the Sierra Madre 
from Sonora, and awed the bandit troops of Pancho Villa 
with a sight of "yellow hawks that dropped flame from the 
skies!" One machine, the General testified, "was worth 
more to me than a whole division of infantry. ' ' There were 
Allied advisers at Headquarters in Washington — Colonel 
Rees, R. P. C, a noted English pilot ; Lieut, de la Grange, 
an aerial champion of France, and other aces of renown. 
The docility of America in all her efforts was a sign to be 
remarked ; her willingness to learn war methods impressed 
all her foreign teachers, as well as her aptitude in grasping 
the novel conditions of war. 

As for the Navy, President Wilson pointed to vast defen- 
sive areas in both oceans, and urged a suitable program 
with all speed in contracts and construction. A single Bill, 
passed unanimously by the Lower House, voted $1,500,000,- 
000 for this purpose alone. It called for capital ships of 
over 40,000 tons; these include new types like the electric 
California, and giant cruisers of 35 knots mounting 16-in. 
guns. There are also scout cruisers and coast patrols, 
submarines of 1000 tons, swift U-boat chasers, as well as 
seaplanes and dirigibles. New dockyards and naval sta- 
tions are designed ; powder, shells and armour plants, as well 
as underground oil-tanks at Guantanamo, Pearl Harbour, 
Puget Sound, San Diego, Mare Island, and Narragansett 
Bay. An energetic drive is being made to bring the naval 
personnel — ever a weak point — up to 150,000 men. One 
may soberly say that money is being poured out like water ; 
the first year of war cost America over twenty billion dol- 
lars. Merely for destroyers Secretary Daniels has asked 
Congress for $1,000,000,000. 

But money alone will not produce modern warships and 
trained crews at short notice. Naval construction has up 
to now been slow and costly in the United States — at all 
events when compared with British, or even German sources'. 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 291 

From the time Congress authorized the Dreadnought 
Oklahoma until she joined the Atlantic Fleet, nearly five 
years and a half elapsed. Four years were allowed for the 
battle-cruisers, and $16,000,000 for the hull and engines 
alone. In many cases private bids from concerns like the 
Fore River, the Newport News of Quincy, and Cramps' of 
Philadelphia fell through altogether, and Secretary Daniels 
had to lay down the ships in the national yards. Then 
Hadfield's of Sheffield secured a $3,000,000 order for 14-in. 
and 16-in. armour-piercing shells. Their bid was no less 
than $200 each below that of the Bethlehem Steel Company 
of Pennsylvania. And these Sheffield shells passed the 
severest test of the Ordnance Bureau, when fired at plates 
turned at an angle of ten degrees, so as to deflect the 
striking force. 

Of course in these matters it is war-experience that wins. 
But America is fast learning on the naval as well as the 
military side, adapting and developing her industries and 
resources in a style that amazed the foreign missions. The 
Japanese Plenipotentiary was greatly impressed by the 
titan efforts which America was making "against the insane 
despoiler of our civilization. " . . . America 's will would no 
longer be expressed in words alone. To frustrate the sub- 
marines, emergency fleets of merchant vessels were put in 
hand by the Federal Shipping Board. For this purpose 
Congress voted $750,000,000, but the purchase of new 
vessels and the commandeering of others took the total 
estimates to $1,134,500,000. All the great steel plants- 
all the lumber of the South and the North-West, as well as 
new armies of skilled labour, were pressed into service under 
Admiral W. L. Capps and Mr. E. N. Hurley of Chicago, new 
nominees of the President, after inevitable disputes and 
delay. 

This colossal program was to do more than defeat the 
trump card of the Von Tirpitz policy. It would also 



292 AMERICA'S DAY 

revive America's merchant marine, which may be said to 
have passed with the Civil War. The Confederate raiders 
wrought havoc among the clipper-ships of that time, and 
left the nation with no zest for changed conditions of the 
sea, brought about by the introduction of steam and iron, 
for which America's "wooden" yards were not adapted. 
Therefore capital was withdrawn from maritime invest- 
ment and turned to the exploitation of natural resources, 
as well as the building of railroads and the development of 
industries which promised a rich and speedy return. 

In this way America fell off as a seafaring nation. 
Sailors and their sons now took to the land out in the 
Middle West. They went into the factories, they engaged 
in coastwise or fishing trades. In world-commerce the 
United States became more and more dependent upon 
the bounty-fed and cheap-wage vessels of other nations. 
She was at last paying $300,000,000 a year to alien owners 
for the transport of her own products. 

After the Civil War a few subsidies were granted to 
shipowners, but these new lines failed, partly through 
unskilful management, and partly owing to economic con- 
ditions beyond any owner's control. The Pacific Mail was 
rescued by strong financial interests, but this concern also 
went out of business owing to the Seamen's Act which the 
President signed in 1914. Primarily a labour law, forced 
through Congress by an autocratic Union, this measure 
added seriously to shipping costs, which were already the 
bane of American owners. The trans-Pacific lines could 
only live by employing Chinese, Japanese, and Lascars, at 
$10 or $15 a month. "Safety at sea" was the watchword 
of a new Bill which, radically altered the sailor's status. 
The foreign provisos were so complex that American Con- 
suls required the modification of thirty-seven Treaties and 
Conventions in order to carry them into effect. 

Thus it was that the Pacific became "a Japanese lake"; 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 293 

and in two years 405 American vessels, totalling 351,000 
tons, were transferred to foreign flags. A steamer manned 
by Asiatics would cost only $777 a month to operate; the 
same ship with an American personnel cost $3270; the offi- 
cers' pay alone was more than double. The new Act had 
orders about the seaman's food and quarters, his freedom at 
home and abroad, and his ability to understand orders in 
English — a rule which applied to seventy -five per cent, of 
the crew. Therefore the outbreak of war in 1914 saw 
maritime enterprise at its lowest ebb; the last grudging aid 
to builders and owners quenched in apathy or downright 
opposition. No wonder the American flag had become a 
rare sight in foreign waters, and the native sailor a still 
rarer sight. A recent Government estimate showed but five 
men seeking sea emplo3 r ment from every hundred square 
miles of continental America, as against forty-three in Ger- 
many and two hundred and forty in England. 

This dwindling was especially regretted in regard to the 
South American trade, and statesmen quoted remarkable 
figures to drive the lesson home. Elihu Root instanced the 
port of Rio de Janeiro. Thither in a recent year came 
120 steamers and sailing-ships under the Austro-Hungarian 
flag. Norway sent 142, Italy 165, Argentina 264, and 
France 349. Germany was represented by 657 vessels, and 
Great Britain topped the list with 1785. But not a single 
steamer had flown the Stars and Stripes ! Seven sailing- 
ships was America's contribution to Rio's teeming trade, 
and of these, as Mr. Root remarked, two were in distress. 

Four years ago there was little enterprise in the Ameri- 
can yards. In August, 1914, ship-plates were selling at 
Pittsburgh at $26.66 a ton, and in Middlesbrough at $34. 
Yet a 5000-ton steamer, costing $40 a ton in the English 
yard, cost at least $60 in the American — a difference of 
$100,000 on this small vessel alone. The price of labour 
too was far higher; there was also the comparative in. 



294 AMERICA'S DAY 

experience of American builders, due to the long decay and 
national discouragement. 

Shipping was a neglected, even a discredited industry, 
beset with disability and penalty. Yet such are the re- 
sources of America that all obstacles went down before 
the wand of war and the beckoning freights, which were a 
thousand per cent, higher. The present year will see 
America with a merchant fleet of over 1600 ships, trebling 
the tonnage of 1917, and including enemy vessels in opera- 
tion by the II. S. Government ; these aggregate 700,000 
tons. A grand total of 10,000,000 tons is said to be in 
sight. 

America felt the full force of the war-time shipping 
boom. There were stories of steamers paid for by a pros- 
perous maiden voyage. An old tub that went begging 
a decade ago at $72,000 now fetched half a million. The 
German tramp, Walk ii re, sunk by Con Spee in the shallow 
harbour of Papete (Tahiti), was fished up and patched. 
Soon the rusty wreck rolled into San Francisco under her 
own steam, and there, after further repairs, she was sold 
for $700,000. Anything that floated was the surest gold 
mine, for the shadow of scarcity lay upon the world through 
the Prussian policy and the economic pinch it brought. 
Here, then, .was America's chance to foil the German aims. 
She could strike a blow for Freedom with the shipwright's 
tool, at the same time setting up a new marine of her own 
with Government aid — belated indeed, but now with no 
stint of capital or national energy. Six million tons is 
America's promise for the current year. 

Hence the clattering orgies of construction. Hence the 
steel ships of 8000 tons launched in a little over two 
months, and freighters of 3000 tons built on the Great 
Lakes, and brought down through the locks of the Welland 
Canal to the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic. The whole 
continent soon crashed witli this work from the old-world 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 295 

yards of Maine, westward to the inland seas, and down to 
the Delaware flats and new Florida slipways at Jacksonville 
and Pensacola. 

Shipyards sprang up overnight round the white rim of 
the Mexican Gulf. Likewise in Louisiana baj'ous, in re- 
mote Texan ports, and up and down the Pacific Coast 
from San Diego to Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma; here 
virgin forests are at hand and the steam saw is never silent. 
America's crop of ships is an astonishing portent, the 
most timely of the many harvests intended for a world 
besieged and menaced with hunger. New legions of labour 
were called for and drilled, standard parts assembled 
and uniform types designed, as in the motor-shops of 
Detroit, where motor-cars are turned out by progressive 
magic. In this way it was possible to produce ocean-going 
vessels in a few weeks — ships with a fair turn of speed and 
a variety of uses; cargo-boats and tankers, transports, 
wooden auxiliaries, coastwise tugs, lighters and harbour 
craft. The one aim was to create the carrying fleets with 
ever-increasing speed, to confuse and whelm the German 
submarines with the sheer number of possible victims until 
naval invention and counter-measures should check the 
underwater weapon, and once more adjust the balance be- 
tween attack and defence. 

The automobile torpedo is a delicate weapon, and each 
target missed increases the cost and risks of a destructive 
cruise. It was America's aim still further to reduce the 
U-boat's chances. Better five little vessels of 3000 tons, 
it was argued, than one big ship of 15,000, which a single 
shot might sink. Such was the motive of the Shipping 
Board's energy. On seven hundred launching-ways, it 
roused workers of all degrees, from the Pennsylvania steel- 
king to the riveters of a lonely sand-pit on Puget Sound, 
where ships were launched for the new Vladivostok service 
which served Russia in her hopeful days. 



296 AMERICA'S DAY 

But what of navigating officers and men, say for a thou- 
sand ships? New schools appeared, afloat and ashore, under 
public and private auspices. Henry Howard of Boston 
started classes at Harvard ; these spread through New Eng- 
land and thence down to Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston,, 
and New Orleans. Recruiting stations were opened on the 
Great Lakes, as soon as the ice formed and the big freight- 
ers tied up for the winter. Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, 
and Buffalo soon had their academies. Commodore Frank 
Hastings, the New York banker, began tuition at Green- 
wich (Conn.), and gave likely men a fair knowledge of 
theory in six or eight weeks. There were also calls for 
marine engineers, and many a chauffeur responded, leav- 
ing luxurious service for the fearsome lure of a war-time 
sea. 

Let me say in passing that the chief engineer of a Stand- 
ard Oil tanker was paid up to $5000 a year, with a bonus 
of fifty per cent. The Navy Department gave the cruiser 
Newport to the State of New York as a school for officers 
of the merchant marine. Massachusetts equipped the 
Banger under Captain Emery Rice, who in the Mongolia 
fired the first shot of America's war at a German submarine. 
The coastwise States — Pennsylvania on the East, Oregon 
and California in the West — passed laws establishing sea- 
schools with the support of the Federal Board. As for 
deck hands, cooks, stewards, and firemen — "We shall pro- 
vide them, ' ' was the pledge of Andrew Furuseth, the ruling 
spirit of the Seamen's Union; he fell into line at the Presi- 
dent's appeal for unity and aid, and he sent through the 
Central West the stirring slogan — ' ' From farm to f o 'c 'sle ! ' ' 
which brought thousands of recruits for the new ships. 

The war-spirit of the United States drew remarkable 
tribute from British statesmen of ripe experience and 
measured speech. "It is a theme which absorbs my 
thoughts day and night," Mr. Balfour told a crowded House 



WORLD MUST BE SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY 297 

of Commons with unwonted force and fervour. "It is a 
theme which moves me more, I think, than anything- con- 
nected with public affairs in all my long experience." 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 

"... son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the House 
of Israel ; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn 
them from Me." — Ezek. xxxiii. 7. 

For two memorable years Woodrow Wilson was torn be- 
tween the bandits of Mexico and Teutonic Thugs in Wash- 
ington and Berlin. These last had unlimited funds and 
Imperial license. No law restrained them, no scruples 
of decency or humanity. They found willing tools among 
the German- American millions whose attitude in the mass 
no man could predicate, since they were confronted with a 
dilemma as novel as it was unexpected. The President, 
in his Declaration of War, thought it well to draw dis- 
tinction between the German people and their autocratic 
Government, whose warfare was against mankind. To- 
wards the German race America had "no feeling but one 
of sympathy and friendship." In the face of all the facts, 
and fierce avowal of the contrary by the Berlin press, 
President Wilson was sure the German masses had not 
backed the militarists in this calamitous war. "It was not 
with their previous knowledge or approval," the President 
declared. 

Of course high reasons of State prompted this distinc- 
tion; it was more than once set out with ostent and evi- 
dent anxiety. For if Germans do not form the backbone 
of America— as hyphenate leaders claimed in their trucu- 
lent time— they do play a leading part in the economic 
and industrial life of the United States. 

Now the hyphenate position was obscure and delicate 

298 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 299 

to a degree. Moreover, the forty-eight States were far 
from being "United" in a foreign policy. The East was 
chafing under humiliation at sea and at home; the West 
sang pseans to the President who "kept us out of war." 
State Secretary Bryan handed minatory Notes to Bern- 
storff and Dumba, at the same time assuring them that 
Americas eagle screech was not to be taken seriously, 
since its purport was mainly to impress sentiment at home. 
It is quite clear that as Foreign Minister at such a crisis 
the Nebraskan orator was a misfit, if not a national mis- 
fortune. His nods and becks and smiles, his incurable pink 
thinking and Jeffersonian views, did America the gravest 
disservice. The State Secretary was played with as a child 
might be in a brigand's den; his geniality encouraged tiie 
Central Powers to a course of outrage which could only 
have one result. 

On his way home in 1915, Constantin Dumba reviewed 
America's attitude with a sort of naive wonder. Was it 
really possible, the ex- Ambassador asked one of "these 
idiotic Yankees" who was a fellow-passenger, that the 
President and his State Secretary thought the Central 
Empires bound by any international law in a fight for 
their very existence? If so, it was too grotesque. As for 
American mediation, it had a fair chance at first, Dr. 
Dumba thought — "if Wilson had been big enough for the 
job." 

Mediation was certainly in President Wilson's mind at 
first, and — the disgraced Ambassador notwithstanding — 
he was as "big" a man in 1915 as he afterwards proved. 
But he had first of all to educate and rouse his people. 

Wilson's heart was set upon peace, despite his own 
growing fears and doubts; this is evident from his public 
utterances. His intimate friend, Secretary Lane of the 
Interior, says with perfect truth that "the President sees 
the world, not as so much money, land, and machines, 



300 AMERICA'S DAY 

but as so many men, women, and children." However, 
apart from Wilson's inclination, we must also consider 
America's military weakness, and the tradition of moral 
suasion which State Secretary Bryan urged, even when 
the Lusitania crime thrilled America with wrath and horror. 

Officially, at any rate, Dr. Wilson set his face against 
war, and began the long watch and wait which the angry 
East styled "Government by periscope." Three months 
after his "Strict accountability" Note, and three days after 
the hugest atrocity in the sea's annals, the President made 
his unfortunate "Too-proud-to-fight" speech at Phila- 
delphia. At that moment the bodies of American women 
and children were being washed ashore on the Irish coast. 
The whole continent was stirred, and "big" leadership at 
home lost a rare chance. But the President was confused 
with the surge of threats and motives; he was for a time 
distracted and overwrought — "rattled" is the American 
word. Indeed, his long ordeal, had we but known the 
facts, would have earned our loyal support instead of the 
note of satire which our editors took from colleagues in 
New York who ought to have known better. For if 
France and Britain were unprepared for the German 
onslaught and the web of craft that went with it — what 
of America, to whom war of any kind was a shameful 
nightmare which the oceans and her own ideals had alike 
combined to render impossible? 

In February, 1915, the Berlin Reichs-Marine-Amt or- 
dained the "Sink-at-sight," and all neutral vessels were 
warned from a certain zone around the British Islands. 
This drew a Note from the State Department, claiming for 
citizens and ships "the full enjoyment of their acknowl- 
edged rights on the high seas." Any violence "would be 
very hard to reconcile with friendly relations," and the 
Imperial German Government was thereby held to "strict 
accountability" for any lawless acts of its naval officers. 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 301 

On 29th March the Falaba was destroyed, and on May 1 
the Gulflight. Six days later came the immense tragedy 
of the Lusitania. This was followed by the Nebraskan 
on May 24, the Arabic on August 19, the Hesperian on 
September 4, the Persia on December 30, and so on to the 
Silius and Sussex in March of 1916. In all these cases 
American citizens were drowned or injured. The list is not 
complete, but it shows the German disregard for successive 
protests from Washington. "What can America do?" 
asked the Berlin press, as the President's Notes grew stiff'er. 
To the German mind it was a purely academic discussion, 
tinged with mild amazement. For here was a nation of a 
hundred millions whose Chief Executive confessed he could 
not even police the Mexican Border, so small and ill- 
equipped was the Federal Army ! 

Theodore Roosevelt inveighed against "the Pontius Pi- 
late neutrality" of Washington, and the milk and water 
of America's reply to the blood and iron of the German 
Wille zu Macht. Elihu Root shot many a rankling shaft 
which inspired the most caustic cartoons. "A Govern- 
ment," the ex-Senator said (he has a large and influential 
following), "that shakes first its fist — and then its finger — 
is bound to fall into contempt. " Indictments of the Wilson 
policy were published by diplomats like David Jayne Hill, 
and by historians like Franklin H. Giddings, Professor of 
Sociology and Civilization at Columbia. The White House 
was a target for angry theorists, yet all of them ignored 
two cardinal facts: (1) That the continent was not 
unanimous, and (2) That if it were, the military means 
to enforce its will were wholly lacking. 

Moreover, the flush time and the Golden Year had done 
much to blunt the nation's sensibility. The fall of 1916 
saw money raining in billions and New York herself em- 
barrassed by the deluge. At this period President Wilson 
gave a cryptic hint of his own position in a letter to the 



302 AMERICA'S DAY 

late Seth Low, a civic magnate and philanthropist of note. 
Mr. Low was referred to the first few verses of Ezekiel 
xxxiii., wherein is laid down the duty of a Watchman to a 
rather heedless flock: "But he that taketh warning shall 
deliver his soul. ' ' Of course, so long as unity was lacking, 
and adequate force remained a pious wish, the President 
could only ensue peace, whatever his private judgment 
might have been. He professed to ignore the root causes 
which had set the world ablaze ; he was still concerned with 
moral issues only, at the same time giving a subtle lead 
to Western apathy, which continued to block the way. 
"You are looking for some cause," he told the Nebraskans 
at Omaha, "that will make you raise your spirit and not 
depress it ; a cause in which it seems a glory to shed human 
blood if need be, so that all the common compacts of Lib- 
erty can be sealed with the blood of free men." 

The Speech with which the President opened his Second 
Term prepared his people for the upheaval that was at 
hand. They now stood firm in armed neutrality, but might 
be drawn still further into uncontrollable currents which 
shook the earth with passion and apprehension of organized 
wrong. It was a wistful, reluctant address. There was 
much to do at home, Dr. Wilson reminded his hearers, but 
these things were shelved; there were still mightier ends 
to achieve "with the whole world for a stage." The Chief 
Executive was above all things anxious to be America's 
authentic Voice, the instrument of her considered will. 

This is the role he praised in Grover Cleveland in 1897, 
and again in 1913, when writing to Mitchell Palmer about 
"the most delicate dealings of the Government with for- 
eign nations." There should be no knight-errantry on a 
President 's part, no ebullition of feeling, but swift and loyal 
interpretation of the country's desire. "America first," 
was Wilson's concept, as it was Lincoln's in 1862. 

It was Wilson's hope to settle the Mexican welter and 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 303 

keep out of the European war. This was the period of his 
abstract posing which puzzled the Allies and confirmed 
the Germans in their estimate of America's impotence in 
war. 

The President's views sprang from the complex of a 
statesman and a man of letters engaged in political tasks 
at once delicate and huge. He was profoundly influenced 
by the teaching of Immanuel Kant, for, as lecturer on in- 
ternational law, Wilson often expounded the well-known 
Kantian theories of Permanent Peace. The German phi- 
losopher considered war a degrading barbarity. "Seek 
above all," he urges, "the domain of pure practical rea- 
son." Kant agrees that a violation of Right may be felt 
throughout the world, but he does not argue from this that 
recourse to war is necessary. He appears to go further 
indeed, and to deny that international wrong has any 
objective character. States are entirely independent of 
one another. They have no superior, therefore who shall 
decide between the just and the unjust? 

Still less can States judge of their own cause. The two 
concepts of Justice and War do not touch at any point. 
That does not mean that the rights of one State cannot be 
violated by another. But when war breaks out, who shall 
say which of the parties has Justice on its side ? Two moral 
forces are in conflict. Each may subjectively believe in 
the virtue of his cause. There is no judge, therefore no 
law. 

Yet even in Wilson's academic day, belaboured by all 
belligerents and by many of his own as well, it is plain 
that he had America's war in mind and was shaping the 
people's will to it. "God forbid that we should be drawn 
in," he told a training-camp of nurses. "But if we are, 
we shall shake off our dreams and stand up for humanity." 
His domestic schemes were now fading in the battle-smoke, 
military weakness dogged his larger aims with shadowy 



304 AMERICA'S DAY 

indecision. This was glaringly seen in the Mexican chaos, 
to which I must here allude. It is none too clearly real- 
ized that Mexico marches with the U. S. border for two 
thousand miles, much as Scotland marches with England. 
In the towns of Nogales and Naco the main street is the in- 
ternational boundary. Now border conditions have for 
many years disgraced America's name, and roused a real 
hatred for the "Gringos" in the Republic of the south. 

It is also well to point out that States ' Rights have time 
and again hampered the Federal Government in this Border 
affair ; much of the blame must lie with Texas, Arizona, and 
New Mexico. Here the Sheriff and his posse ; the raid, the 
feud, the "bad man" and his pocket artillery are still 
familiar features. And the lex talionis still has a wide 
sway. 

I may not linger over this Border life. At its worst it 
surpassed the wildest flights of a "Western movie-play, with 
cattle-thieving and wholesale homicide; the smuggling of 
arms, the train-wreckers and masked bravos, the plots and 
frauds, all the terror and reprisals which strew the chap- 
arral with dead peons and desperadoes, as well as with in- 
nocent victims of American greed. How Mexican ranchers 
and farmers have been squeezed out of land and stock 
by the white men of the Border is a squalid tale. From 
1910 onwards refugees fled from the fire and sword of the 
pelados in the Mexican States of Sonora, Chihuahua, and 
Tamaulipas. Many of these settled in the strange No- 
man's Land of the Rio Grande, between Laredo and the 
Gulf, where the river plays erratic pranks and offers shifty 
problems to the Boundary Commission in "Washington. 

Now in neither Republic had the hapless peon any po- 
litical existence. His treatment on the Border stung him 
to revenge, and kept alive the hatred, contempt, and mis- 
trust of both races. The bandit Villa spoke for the Bor- 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 305 

der serfs when he swore he would raise a wall of terror 
which the Americanos would never cross. 

Wilson's attack upon Vera Cruz, Pershing's punitive 
mission and the persistent talk of intervention, all served 
to fan the flame and unite rival factions against America's 
wavering dictation. Aba jo los Gringos! became the watch- 
word of all. "Mexico for the Mexicans!" was another 
patriotic cry, potent as the iron sway of old Diaz in healing 
feuds and closing the ragged ranks of outlaws, from Manuel 
Pelaez in the oil-belt to Lower California, where Cantu 
reigned as king with a comic opera army in full song. 

As Venustiano Carranza gained in power, defying Wil- 
son and forcing recognition on the United States, a new 
Mexican Constitution was coming into force, with anti- 
foreign clauses so sweeping as to exclude missionary work, 
as well as ownership in lands and mines. There is, of 
course, historic warrant for Mexico's mistrust. This goes 
back to the Texan War of Independence and the confusion 
it entailed. In 1847 the frontier troubles caused armed 
conflict with the United States. The troops of General 
Winfield Scott reached the Mexican capital; they scaled 
the heights of Chapultepec, imposing America's terms in 
the Treaty of Guadaloupe-Hidalgo, as a tablet on the Cas- 
tle wall reminds the citizens of today. 

The long Border remains a problem, especially with a 
weak, unstable Mexico ruined by bandit chiefs and played 
upon by Germany — as the Zimmermann letter showed, and 
the record of Franz von Rintelen, who was paymaster-in- 
chief of the plotters south of the Rio Grande. So much for 
the Border, which President Wilson tried to police with the 
State Militia in 1916. 

To the south of it lies a State which Humboldt called the 
treasure-house of the earth. Mexico is larger than the 
German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, with France 



306 AMERICA'S DAY 

added to them. Nearly one-third of the world's silver 
comes out of this land. Her mineral riches are incalcu- 
lable ; her petroleum a precious asset of the Grand Alliance 
in a universal war to which oil is a vital need for new 
engines of ever-increasing power and number. American 
oil supplies are running short, owing to the increased de- 
mand of a pleasure-loving generation which has millions 
of cars. California's output rose from four million barrels 
in 1900 to a hundred millions in 1916. Oklahoma's in- 
creased from six thousand barrels to sixty-five millions, 
yet the shortage grows more and more acute. 

Therefore it was more than ever necessary that dis- 
order should cease in Mexico, where the Tampico belt 
alone bids fair to equal or surpass the oil production of 
the world. These great fields follow the Gulf for three 
hundred miles, and extend sixty miles inland. Experts 
say there are signs of oil all down the coast as far as the 
Guatemalan border, and that borings on a wider scale 
will have astonishing results. The whole yield of the 
United States for last year was 307,000,000 barrels. Fif- 
teen Tampico wells had a capacity of 250,000,000 barrels. 
A single gusher at Poturo del Llano gave a hundred thou- 
sand barrels a day, another could fill an ocean tanker over- 
night. 

It was thought well to maintain armed guards against 
the ever-present German incendiary; for her ten million 
barrels may go up in smoke, as happened at the Dos 
Bocas gusher in the Tampico region. I need hardly say 
that Mexican brigands levied tribute on this wealth. The 
armed gang of Candido Aguilar demanded $10,000 from 
each producing concern. Only Lord Cowdray's syndicate 
refused; the result was that pumps were stopped, and 
great leaks caused. Then surface fires broke out and 
lasted four months, involving a far greater loss than 
Aguilar 's proposed blackmail. 



THE WA.TCHMAN AND THE SWORD 307 

Before the Terror — which dates from the decline of the 
Diaz regime in 1910 — there were 40,000 Americans in 
Mexico, handling- property worth over a thousand million 
dollars. Of Mexico 's imports fifty-five per cent, came from 
the United States; of all that Mexico had to sell, her big 
sister took seventy-seven per cent. 

In Victoriano Huerta's day, President Wilson was anx- 
ious over American prestige, which was then at a low 
ebb. It is clear that the Washington Bureaux had a 
fair inkling of German designs in the fall of 1915. Ger- 
man reservists were crossing into Mexico and directing 
petty "wars" too bewildering -to follow. German ships 
were stealing into lonely ports with lethal cargoes hidden 
in cases of hardware, typewriters, pianos, and ice-cream 
freezers. 

Mexico under Huerta offered a German vantage-ground 
of unique scope. For this reason the Mailed Fist was 
soon stirring the hell-broth, and Von Eintelen poured 
millions into it through the Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile 
Huerta's manoeuvres — the Vera Cruz affair and the abor- 
tive pursuit of Villa — gave the ignorant peon a low opin- 
ion of American might. Thus the too-tame bull that re- 
fused to fight in the crowded ring — the tawny Longhorn 
or red Hereford of massive and kindly mien — was now 
hustled out by angry chulos to the contemptuous shrieks 
of the mob: Toro Americano! — Why, it was a Yankee 
beast that turned to nibble straw when the picadors spurred 
on top of him, dropping their lances and stooping to slap 
his stupid snout ! 

It cannot be denied that the Mexican mess was badly 
handled by the U. S. Government. In 1914 Huerta, a 
Mixtec Indian of pure blood, was ruling well enough when 
President Wilson resolved to break him. Huerta's sway 
was, of course, despotic — like that of his master, Porforio 
Diaz. The American Fleet, under Admiral Mayo, was 



308 AMERICA'S DAY 

sent down to Vera Cruz to compel this tyrant to salute 
the flag. Huerta haggled for a return salute; the result 
was that none was given on either side. Mayo's squadron 
sailed away after a pitched battle ashore, in which there 
were many casualties. 

Meanwhile Wilson was pointing out to Congress that 
"if we are to accept the tests of its own Constitution, 
Mexico has no Government." It was argued that Huerta 
was a usurper who had overthrown with treachery and 
crime the previous regime; but then, that has been Mex- 
ico's way since the Constitution of 1857 went into force. 

Carranza was favoured by the Washington Cabinet — 
though it also leaned to Pancho Villa, a free-lance who 
had hopes of the precarious "throne" in the National 
Palace. But Villa's aims were blighted by Wilson's final 
choice after Huerta 's resignation. Thereupon the bandit 
chief took a bloody revenge by invading American terri- 
tory and "shooting" up the border town of Columbus, 
N. M. This was the outrage which called for the Pershing 
expedition, and an outlay of $200,000,000, which was worse 
than fruitless. "Get Villa, dead or alive," was the order 
given to the American General. But he came back empty- 
handed, his retreat hastened by the minatory tone of First 
Chief Carranza, who now threatened a national war. Such 
was the problem confronting Wilson in his neutral time; 
and Prussian devilry in both Republics heaped fuel on the 
flames. 

Mexico was now exhausted; one of her railways with 
a gross revenue of $34,000,000 earned but $22,441 in paper 
money of more than doubtful value. Claims on Carranza 's 
Government soon climbed to a billion dollars. At long 
last President Wilson drew out of this political morass. 
He reinstated Ambassador Fletcher in Mexico City; he re- 
ceived Carranza 's envoy, Seilor Ignacio Bonillas, who had 
been a member of the Joint Commission that settled terms 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD .309 

between the two Republics. Mexico now settled down to 
business as the Border itself does when the tide of woe 
has turned and the* good time smiles again. Railroads 
and mines were dug out and repaired. There was re- 
construction everywhere on the old familiar lines. The 
native press began to change its tune, and was quite polite 
to America. Anti-Gringoism was bad form in this brighter 
day. The State mints were working overtime ; so were 
the theatres and cafes of the capital, where Americans 
left the club and strolled up to Sanborn's drug-store for 
ice-cream, and pastries and tea. Oil sont les neiges d'an- 
ianf Where were the bandits and butchers of yester- 
year? 

President Wilson was well aware of the geographical 
and political importance of Mexico, but he mistook the 
mass of peons for a people, which they certainly are not. 
No accurate census of the country has been taken, nor 
should we accept the official estimates and classification 
of 1900. There are, perhaps, 15,000,000 souls in the Re- 
public, and of these fewer than 2,000,000 are of Caucasian 
race. The number of half-breeds is rather larger; the 
rest are Indians, belonging to fifty tribes speaking as 
many dialects. Mentally, morally, and physically the peon 
of today is what he was centuries- ago. ''There can be 
little doubt," says Senator Beveridge, "that, speaking by 
and large, he is far below the culture of the ancient 
Aztecs." An American protectorate appears to be the 
sanest solution of the Mexican question upon all counts. 
And the next upheaval will find the United States equipped 
to make an end of endemic anarchy at her door — the 
desolation of a State which is unique among the prizes 
of Latin America, and therefore a standing lure to arro- 
gant Powers trained in war and forced to territorial ex- 
pansion. 

Mexico commands the Gulf, which is at once the outlet 



310 AMERICA'S DAY 

and approach to the southern harbours of the United 
States. It has been the dream of American statesmen 
that this sea should one day be wholly American — the 
more so in that it now controls the Panama Canal. More- 
over, as Mexico dominates the near Pacific, this turbulent 
State has a bearing upon America's Western Coast. A 
modern army landed there could invade the Border at 
many points where fortification is impossible or prohibitive 
in cost. Therefore its integrity, stability, and internal 
order are prime factors in the policy of the greater Re- 
public. 



Wilson's dilemma, when the Great War came, was a 
repetition of history — that of April, 1793, when the First 
President declared America's neutrality in the French 
wars and sought "to gain time to our country" which 
was quite unfitted to play its part. The "suitable estab- 
lishments" which Washington urged upon the infant Re- 
public were still ignored ; even the ' ' respectable defensive 
posture" which was his minimum was not yet in sight. 
For this reason he steered clear of entanglements and 
pursued the "different course" which "our detached and 
distant situation" appeared to render possible. 

Washington had not been dead twenty years before 
America was faced with entirely new conditions which en- 
tailed a radical change. Monroe, Madison, and Jefferson 
were already counting upon British sea-power as a barrier 
against European intrigue. Aloofness was even then 
known for a myth, and the Two Americas closed their 
ranks, resolved to exclude any and every Old-World domi- 
nation. So the problems of the Fathers were in part re- 
peated by the issues which Wilson faced in his neutral 
day. The Farewell Address of Washington is not more 
unruffled than Wilson's Message to Congress a few weeks 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 311 

after the German onset broke. "We are at peace with all 
the world. . . . We mean to live our own lives as we 
will." So said the Pilgrim Fathers when they set sail 
from Plymouth in 1620, weary of the homeland and its 
religious persecution. 

America has always been a place of dreams, and no 
dollar-hunt has ever quite dispelled them. No less a wit- 
ness than Henri Bergson has lately testified to this. "He 
who has lived in America," the philosopher told the intel- 
lectual peers of Paris, "comes to realize that in no nation 
does money mean less ; it is only a certificate of efficiency. 
The American soul is saturated with idealism — even with 
mysticism. Their history shows that abstract thoughts of 
morality and justice have always held first place." This 
is the plain truth. Pacifism split the House of Deputies 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church when new prayers for 
the National Army were to the fore. Thus the God of 
Hosts was asked "to strengthen and protect the soldiers of 
our country; to support them in the day of battle, and in 
time of peace to keep them from all harm." "If we adopt 
this prayer," said Dr. J. H. Melish of Brooklyn, "we shall 
be doing irreparable injury to the youth of our land. It 
is impossible for soldiers — as the Prayer asks — to 'serve 
without reproach.' Moreover, it is not a Christian prayer, 
but one addressed to the iron Deity whom Joshua invoked 
when he set forth to invade." 

Pacifism was carried to queer extremes; its apostles in 
all ages were cited, from Buddha to Mr. Bryan. Non- 
resistance was expedient, the fanatics said; it was also 
economically wiser than war. It was quite workable too, 
according with the Christ ethics, teaching humanity and 
justice as well as conserving men's energy for sane con- 
structive labours. America should, therefore, adopt the 
peace-ideal and act upon it until the older nations, led 
by this example, should pass into Emerson's "region of 



312 AMERICA'S DAY 

holiness," where no ignoble passion marred the social 
serenity. This was the counsel which Theodore Roosevelt 
decried for three years or more as "the diluted mush of a 
make-believe morality." 

This Utopian land has had many wars, and muddled 
through them all with no great zest for the business. The 
Revolutionary War lasted seven years, the War of 1812 
three years, the Florida War seven years, the Mexican 
War two years, and the Rebellion four years — to say 
nothing of frontier affrays with the Indians during the 
whole of this period. In 1898 came the clash with Spain, 
thirty-three years after the surrender of Lee to General 
Grant at Appomattox. America was wholly unprepared 
for the war with Spain, but it would be a graceless task 
to recall the scandal and confusion which marked it at 
home and abroad — the sea affair as well as the land cam- 
paign. The navy was in a bad way; its gunnery record 
at Santiago was exposed by the late Professor Alger, a 
leading American authority. "At 2800 yards," this sci- 
entist states, "nearly half the shots fired went wide of the 
mark." Service powders, the discipline of crews, battle- 
practice, co-ordination, and construction all were unsound 
at that time. Yet Congress was unmoved at each revela- 
tion. 

Nevertheless reforms were stirring. Young Sowden Sims 
was bombarding the Bureaux and the Senate Naval Com- 
mittee, thereby imperilling his own career. "When we 
launched the Kentucky," Sims declared, "we ought to 
have shed tears over her instead of breaking a bottle of 
champagne." This was the battleship of open turrets and 
unprotected guns, a design that was soon officially con- 
demned. But if Sims spoke plainly in those days (he 
became an admiral, and worked with our own fleet in 
European waters), what shall be said of candid friends 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 313 

who are today rewriting America's school books till the 
military record glares with crudity? 

It is a wholesome sign, this banishing of mythical exploit ; 
the spread-eagling of minute-men and rustic heroes who 
could "lick creation" with a pike and gun snatched from 
the farm-house wall when the drums began to beat. The 
Unpopular History of the United States is a piquant nov- 
elty of our time, and a token that the great democracy is 
building from the depths in order to cure the Prussian 
madness. 

"Why," asks the new historian, "has the sovereign voter 
of America remained so heedless? I was a grown man of 
thirty, hoeing my beard with a safety razor, ere it dawned 
upon me that the fighting record of our country had not 
been one long, unbroken record of star-spangled victories. 
Like other boys, I'd been fed upon Fourth of July ora- 
tions. ... I believed that one lone, grey-haired farmer 
with a drum, a bloody rag round his head, and a son and 
a grandson behind him, had chased the British Army 
from our sacred continent. I believed that — did you? 
I thought that a single American patriot, with a muzzle- 
loader and both hands tied behind him, could beat any 
horde of foreign hirelings that ever marched down the 
pike. I had no doubt of it — had you? I was sure the 
Redcoats outnumbered the Colonials. Yet in that glorious 
year of '76 we mustered 89,600 men against the British 
20,121! I didn't know that— did you?" Much of this 
"Unpopular History" has lain perdu in General Emory 
Upton's Military Policy of the United States. The late 
Homer Lea's Valour of Ignorance carried the truth a step 
further, and General Leonard Wood, a former Chief of 
Staff, rounded off the peril of reliance upon moral force 
in a sullen world of torn-up treaties and rattling swords. 

But a prosperous and easy-going America had long for- 



314 AMERICA'S DAY 

gotten the famous Draft by which the Colonies filled their 
fighting quotas in Revolutionary days. In the 'Sixties 
both the Union and the Confederacy used the Draft, and 
the courts of North and South upheld its validity. Con- 
scription does indeed raise the sharpest issues in a modern 
democracy: we saw this in Australia, where Mr. Hughes 
put a Referendum to his people. Yet he lost by a narrow 
margin because Labour and the women electors were against 
him. 

In Canada the cleavage was more serious, led by the 
Catholic hierarchy under Cardinal Begin of Quebec and 
Mgr. Bruchesi, Archbishop of Montreal. 

In the United States conscription came as a real shock. 
The example of Quebec was quoted by one set of partisans ; 
another pointed to "a military Canada, with veteran le- 
gions trained in the sternest school and contemptuous of 
their unmartial neighbours." When President Wilson de- 
livered his War Message every point was cheered till he 
came to the first levy of half a million men — ' ' who should, 
in my opinion, be chosen upon the principle of universal 
liability to service." Congress was taken aback. Staunch 
supporters of Wilson demurred, and there was resolute 
opposition for a time. 

Southern Congressmen were against the arming and 
training of negroes, who were all too prone to run amuck, 
as they did at Houston, Tex. Here coloured troopers shot 
up the town, killing seventeen and wounding twenty more 
before they could be disarmed. Senator Vardaman of 
Mississippi was quite justified in his earnest warning of 
this danger. Then American Labour looked askance at 
conscription ; influential newspapers attacked it as " un- 
necessary, undemocratic, conducive to militarism, and a 
violation of that 'involuntary servitude' which the Consti- 
tution forbids." 

President Wilson stood firm throughout this agitation; 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 315 

he was supported by the Federal Army Staff, by most of 
the Eastern Press, and all the intellectuals. ''No one can 
hate militarism more than I do," said Dr. Nicholas Murray 
Butler of Columbia in his Allocution to the University. 
"None would resist more actively and emphatically any 
movement to change the peace-loving industrial temper and 
spirit of our people for any of the older forms, which are 
now slowly going to their death — let us hope never to be 
resurrected — on the battlefields of Europe. But there is a 
call to national service and a preparation for it which, so 
far from sharing the Prussian motive, is only the voice of 
Democracy conscious of obligation and duty, as well as of 
rights and opportunities." This is the voice that pre- 
vailed. 

German folly and frightfulness helped it in surprising 
ways, till at length America was roused, from the school- 
girl to the negro surgeon ; from the Polish mechanic to the 
Wall Street millionaire. James Wood the Quaker was now 
on constructive work. Thomas Edison was at sea, study- 
ing anti-submarine devices ; Frank Vanderlip, America 's 
foremost financier left the greatest of banks to enlist in 
War Loan service. Conscription was an accepted fact; it 
brought in State quotas of men that filled the camps to 
overflowing. And with it came the bushido code of loyalty 
which Americans have so long admired in the Japanese. 
The sons of Cabinet Ministers — Daniels, McAdoo, Houston, 
Lane — were now serving with the humblest lads. "Con- 
scription," as young Rockefeller said, "is the one thing 
needed to abolish class distinctions among us." Judge 
Gary of the Steel Trust, welcoming the Japanese Mission, 
put America's military resources at fifteen million men and 
a hundred billion dollars, without seriously crippling the 
country. 

These are stupendous figures, but the record of the Sixty- 
Fifth Congress confirms them. In six months' session an 



316 AMERICA'S DAY 

Army of a million and a half was mustered, besides over- 
seas forces which were transported with little loss. Fif- 
teen million hands were mobilized for industry. The Navy 
was trebled, the Regular Army modernized, vast aerial 
forces planned, together with mercantile shipping on- a 
great scale. 

Admiral W. L. Capps, of the Emergency Fleet Corpora- 
tion, promised 2100 ships by the end of 1919, or 14,500,000 
tons in all. This includes enemy and commandeered ves- 
sels, as well as new construction and ships from the Great 
Lakes, which are cut in two and brought down through 
the Welland Canal. Twenty thousand million dollars 
were voted by Congress in direct appropriations, includ- 
ing seven thousand millions in loans to the Grand Alli- 
ance. In the same half-yearly session the President ac- 
quired unique prestige. Men marvelled at his "despotic " 
powers, asserted in such measures as the Selective Draft, 
the Espionage and Embargo Bills; Priority, Transport, 
War Revenue, the Food Control, and Soldiers' and Sailors' 
Insurance. 

"Give us victory," wrote Lincoln in a famous letter to 
General Hooker, ' ' and I will risk the Dictatorship ! ' ' Dr. 
Wilson made up his mind that if war came he would avoid 
Lincoln's anguish and insist upon conscription at the out- 
set. 

The long-drawn chaos of the Civil War should have 
settled this matter, but democracy has a short memory 
for things that ruffle its ease. 

"The real difficulty," says Sherman in his Memoirs, "was 
to get an adequate number of good soldiers. We tried 
every system known to modern nations — voluntary en- 
listment, the draft, and bought substitutes." Very re- 
luctantly did President Lincoln sign the Draft Act on 
July 11, 1863; it pressed unfairly upon poor men, and gave 
exemption to any recruit who could produce $300. Two 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 317 

days later fierce riots broke out in New York, and the 
casualties exceeded those of many an American battle. 
So abhorrent was military service that out of 77,862 names 
drawn from the wheel in the metropolis, only 2557 joined 
the Northern Army. 

We may be sure that Lincoln's ordeal was in Wilson's 
mind as early as the panic winter of 1914-15. It was of 
course the submarine campaign which hurried him into 
war— the reckless German gamble which was to humble 
Britain, and give naked Macht a vindication that would 
silence every protest and establish the Prussian code. 
Now this U-boat bid was simple enough, and by far the 
bravest menace ever aimed at civilization. The last shred 
of law was to be dropped, every ship afloat destroyed, 
whether belonging to neutral or belligerent. Red Cross 
vessels too, argosies of food for the starving Belgians, 
steamers full of refugees, the Dutch fishing-boat, Spanish 
liners and coasting vessels — all the tonnage that sailed the 
seas — was to be sunk for a complex of reasons, military, 
political, and economic. The invisible craft could not 
conduct a cruiser warfare according to established rules. 
Of its very nature it could only strike and disappear. It 
used torpedoes as the mad Malay uses a kriss in the 
crowded bazaar, with no regard for victims or his own 
fate. 

Such was the German plan for breaking British might 
and planting the Trident in the Mailed Fist with appro- 
priate flourish. U-boat "warfare" was to give the Father- 
land a flying start when a German peace was signed and 
other nations, crippled for ships, faced a shortage of food 
and raw materials. This was the plot which unfolded be- 
fore America. She was slow to grasp it, even with U-53 
doing fell work in her own waters. It was an over- 
prosperous America of many views and voices. Moreover, 
the German element had great sway; German efficiency 



318 AMERICA'S DAY 

(Tiichtigkeii) was the pattern of all, as the President him- 
self reminded a Labour audience. "As a university man, 
I have been surrounded by men trained in Germany, be- 
cause nowhere else could they get such thorough and 
searching training, especially in the principles of science, 
and those which underlie modern material achievements." 
The German farmer was known for a wizard who produced 
ten pounds of pig-meat from a bushel of corn. Where the 
American got thirty bushels of oats from an acre, the 
German got fifty-eight; the potato-yields were respectively 
ninety-five bushels against two hundred and five. 

However, this business friendship was cooling fast as 
the two ideals of government fell asunder with glaring 
cleavage. Germany watched the process with unconcern, 
confident of her own "strong position" (Machstellung) 
and America's sprawling hugeness which no war-danger 
could ever arouse in time. Germany was sure of this — 
Hindenburg himself explained it; parrots of the press 
played scornful variants on this theme for a season. The 
Americans were "a naive colonial-like people," led by a 
dreamer who talked daggers with a bodkin in his hand. 

So matters drifted until January 31, 1917. On that 
day Alfred Zimmermann handed Mr. Gerard the "ruth- 
less" Note which caused President Wilson to sever rela- 
tions. He could do no less in view of his own threat 
after the sinking of the Sussex, and the pledge which his 
warning extorted from Berlin. That pledge was now 
voided for the sake of "tortured mankind." The trou- 
bled conscience of the German Government could leave 
no means untried "to hasten the end of the war." . . . 
"It must therefore abandon the limitations which it has 
hitherto imposed upon itself in the employment of its fight- 
ing weapons at sea." 

I have said that America was slow to realize a purpose 
so monstrous. Even in his address to Congress, announc- 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 319 

ing the rupture, President Wilson renews his "inveterate 
confidence" in "the sobriety and prudent foresight" of 
Kaiserdom. ... "I refuse to believe that it is the inten- 
tion of the German authorities to do, in fact, what they 
have warned us they will feel at liberty to do. . . . Only 
actual overt acts on their part can make me believe this 
even now. ' ' 

The night crime of the Laconia was such an act, and 
thenceforth the United States was committed to war, 
though little or no preparation had been made for it. 
That the Watchman in Washington was perplexed is evi- 
dent from the Notes he sent between the Lusitania and the 
Sussex. He took each German quibble seriously: the lia- 
bility (with blood-money offered) in the Lusitania case; 
the "regrettable mistake" of the Arabic, the proposed "in- 
quiry" into the Persia, and the conditional "concessions" 
which followed the Sussex affair in the Channel. 

Merchant vessels (the German promise ran) were not 
thenceforward to be destroyed without warning, and the 
saving of human lives — provided that America insisted 
upon the freedom of the seas as laid down by her in 
Notes sent to Great Britain on December 28, 1914, and 
upon the freedom of the seas as laid down by her on 
November 5, 1915. Should American pressure fail in this 
respect (as German catspaw for sea "freedom") ; should 
Great Britain continue to violate "the rules of Inter- 
national Law universally recognized before the war," then 
"the German Government would be facing a new situa- 
tion in which it must reserve for itself complete liberty of 
decision." 

More than once the Imperial Chancellor asked Mr. 
Gerard how America could protest against the submarine 
without equally resisting Britain's tyranny at sea? The 
diplomat was not posed at all, but ready with a shrewd 
reply. "If two men entered my grounds," said he, "and 



320 AMERICA'S DAY 

one stepped on my flower-beds, whilst the other killed my 
sister, I should first pursue «the murderer. ' ' 

In his Message to Congress declaring war (April 2, 1917), 
Dr. Wilson defined the cause for which he led this "great 
and peaceful people into the most terrible and disastrous 
of all wars." 

"We shall fight," he said, "for the things we have al- 
ways carried nearest our hearts. For democracy, for the 
right of those who submit to authority to have a voice 
in their own government; for the rights and liberties of 
small nations, for the universal dominion of Right by such 
a concert of free peoples as will bring peace and safety 
to all nations, and make the world itself at last free." 

Years ago, as Governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wil- 
son laid down his creed, declaring himself "enlisted for 
life" against all reactionary systems thrown athwart "the 
triumphant hosts of the great Democracy. . . . We must 
move forward," the Governor told an audience at Ho- 
boken, after a three-thousand-mile tour of the West as 
Presidential candidate for the first time, "and any man 
who blocks this concerted movement of humanity will be 
swept aside." America, he said, was no longer choosing 
leaders because they were fine fellows, but because they 
understood the best interests of the nation at a critical 
juncture in her history. 

It is absurd to suppose that this born leader was at any 
time an advocate of peace-at-any-price, or that he carried 
the doctrine of non-resistance to visionary extremes. But 
he knew, as none other did, the full complexity of the 
many problems before him. As historian of George Wash- 
ington's epoch, Dr. Wilson pictures the anguish of the 
First President, with an unruly rabble as the only avail- 
able force and a victorious enemy in the land. "He found 
neither the preparations nor the spirit of the army to his 
liking. His soldierly sense of order was shocked by the 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 321 

loose discipline, and his instinct of command by the free- 
and-easy insolence of that irregular levy. And his au- 
thority grew stern as he laboured to bring the motley host 
to order and effective organization." AYilson little 
dreamed, when he wrote this Life of his fellow-Virginian, 
that he was himself destined to create a colossal militarism 
among the masses he loves so well. "Let the result be 
so impressive and emphatic," he urged upon them on Lib- 
erty Day, "that it will echo through the Empire of our 
enemy as indeed what America intends to do — to bring 
this war to a victorious conclusion." 

That enemy styled Wilson the greatest "despot" of all, 
and truly history repeats itself in the strangest way. Less 
than ten years ago Woodrow Wilson was immersed in 
books ; his greatest battle was fought in University affairs 
in the Gothic halls and tree-shaded campus of Princeton. 
Today he sways, with unprecedented power, an armed 
democracy which may well prove the decisive factor in 
the most stupendous of wars. In his college days Wil- 
son wrote A History of the American People, and in the 
chapter dealing with Lincoln's second term he gives a 
picture of dictatorship which is closely applicable to his 
own. 

"The war had not run its extraordinary course without 
touching the Government itself with revolution. The Con- 
stitution had been framed with no thought to provide 
for such days as these, when States were breaking away 
from the Union, and the Government was struggling for 
life itself. And with unlooked-for exigency had come 
unlooked-for and arbitrary acts of power. The whole 
authority of the nation seemed to be concentrated in the 
Executive without restraint of law. . . . Many an un- 
doubted principle of the Constitution seemed as if for the 
time suspended in order that the executive and military 
powers might move supreme to meet a supreme necessity. 



322 AMERICA'S DAY 

Individual rights seemed for a time in abeyance. Even 
politicians of his own party thought the President unsafe. 
. . . Fortunately the rank and file had caught the spirit 
of the war. . . . They looked confidently to see all things 
restored, as of course, to their old poise and balance when 
the storm of war had passed." 

But the turmoil of the 'Sixties was a small affair com- 
pared with the present effort; its conscript service and 
control of the railroads, its authority over food production, 
distribution, and prices; its embargoes and taxes and 
censorships. There was at first much carping at these 
"surrenders to Kaisertum and Tsarism." All this inter- 
ference, the dubious were afraid, would set America on 
the road to Marxian Socialism — or even, to the Fourier 
ideal of communal happiness, with "home" in a vast bar- 
rack under the watchful eye of impersonal sovereignty. 

The power of the President has grown enormously since 
the time of Washington and the elder Adams. Chief 
Executives of the early school concerned themselves with 
laws, the appointment of officials, and the direction of 
foreign affairs which were mainly formal. Formal also 
were the White House relations with Congress; and the 
Constitution was rigidly observed. It is Jackson, Lincoln, 
and Cleveland who are chiefly associated with the broaden- 
ing of Presidential sway. Officials were now abruptly re- 
moved, the veto power was used, the national policy 
moulded, and legislation led along bolder lines. 

It was felt that Congress needed skilful handling if it 
were not to split into regional elements and cross-purposes 
fatal to any real national progress. Roosevelt took a vig- 
orous hand in this control; Taft was of the laissez-faire 
school, and consequently left the White House with his 
political fortunes ruined. In 1913 Wilson inaugurated 
a "reign" so sagacious and strong that the whole con- 
tinent rallied to him. Even the Eastern press, in its most 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 323 

impatient moments, could review the Prussian affronts 
with unshaken faith in the Chief Executive. "We're be- 
hind you, Mr. President," was a timid assurance of this 
time. "Only, for God's sake, don't step on its!" 

The high Wilson note was sounded on Inauguration Day. 
"This is not a day of triumph," he told America, "but 
a Day of Dedication. Here muster, not the forces of 
Party, but of Humanity. Men's hearts wait upon us; 
men's lives hang in the balance; men's hopes call upon 
us to say what we will do." Yet it is as a militarist that 
this Apostle of Peace will live, and not as the social and 
political reformer. 

The President has power to lead the country into war, 
though the formal declaration is left to Congress. A case 
in point was President Polk's despatch of General Taylor's 
force to the Mexican Border in 1846; it was a step which 
made straight for war. Another instance is Cleveland's 
bellicose message to Great Britain in 1895 over the Vene- 
zuela-Guiana boundary. And three years later, when Mc- 
Kinley sent the Maine to Havana, he knew it meant a 
war with Spain. Wilson's Note to Germany after the 
sinking of the Sussex committed America in the same 
irrevocable way. 

When war breaks out the President becomes Comman- 
der-in-Chief of Army, Navy, and State Militias. Men, 
money, and ships are voted by Congress, but thereafter 
the Chief Executive is an autocrat. He can make or 
break commanders ; he can move troops and plan and di- 
rect campaigns, as well as dictating matters of life and 
death to the civilians at home. I relate these things be- 
cause opinion in Europe is unaware of any precedent 
for the stern paternalism of the Wilson regime. Even the 
America of today knows little of the "Tsarism" which 
Lincoln, the country attorney of Illinois, assumed in three 
tragic months of the Civil War. And in the words of the 



324 AMERICA'S DAY 

historian Rhodes : ' ' Never has the power of Dictator fallen 
into safer and nobler hands." 

It was loudly asserted in Central Europe that Americans 
were incapable of that selfless discipline without which all 
their strength would be frustrated. 

Yet under Wilson the miracle was achieved. It culmi- 
nated in "Garfield's Day" — an order from the Fuel Ad- 
ministrator which shut down all industries (save those of 
war) east of the Mississippi River. Millions of workers 
stood at ease. The theatres were closed, there were can- 
dles in skyscraper offices; and in the Stock Exchange 
the brokers shivered in a freezing atmosphere wearing 
greatcoats, sweaters, and ear-muffs. The object of this 
order was to relieve congestion on the railroads, and get 
waiting ships away to France. At one stroke the distilling 
of whisky was stopped, and 40,000,000 bushels of grain 
added to the available food. 

The sovereignty of the State was steadily encroaching, 
and loyal acceptance of its rule was mainly due to the 
personality of the President. Business men submitted 
with grace to unexampled dictation. They agreed to the 
Government price for copper and steel and ships. The 
coal retailer was obliged to sell at the 1915 margin plus 
an increase of thirty per cent. Priority in railway trans- 
port was insisted on ; men saw their own goods lying 
derelict in warehouse or siding, whilst material of war 
went swiftly forward. Huge taxes were paid, costly plants 
turned over to the Government, unnecessary products cut 
down arbitrarily. 

Boards and Committees innumerable now bossed the 
man of affairs. They criticized his cost-accounting; he 
was told he must standardize his output on a model which 
his rival had evolved. Or he handed over his factory 
entire; he built or manufactured according to Board ideas 
of price and labour conditions. The head of a Produce 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 325 

Exchange had to warn his members against speculation 
in futures, lest that hydra-headed Board shut down upon 
trading in that particular commodity. 

The new paternalism was helped by propaganda such 
as impressed the lessons of America's War upon many 
races dwelling in a continent of three million square miles. 
In these appeals every language was used, from Czech to 
Chinese. The issues were set out in the Greek Atlantis of 
New York, and all the polyglot journals of that city: the 
Busskoye Slovo, the Italian Progresso, the Yiddish For- 
ward, the Magyar Figyelo, the Polish Dziennik Zwiazkowy. 
For America is a very Babel of newspapers. This work 
was decentralized, with State Governors and civic leaders 
on their mettle to devise ways and means of reaching every 
home — even in the desert sage-brush, the mining camps of 
Colorado, and forest clearings of the lone North-West. 
"Save a shovelful of coal every day," Mr. Garfield told 
the housewife, "and we shall have fifteen million tons to 
show for it at the year's end." 

Mr. Herbert Hoover wrote novel theses about food econ- 
omy for the schools. "We have in our abundance and in 
our waste an ample supply to carry them and ourselves to 
Victory. There is no royal road to food conservation. It 
can be accomplished only through whole-hearted co-opera- 
tion in the 20,000,000 kitchens and at the 20,000,000 tables 
of the United States." 

Foreign Minister Lansing drew upon his unique knowl- 
edge of Prussian evil, and addressed millions of citizens 
through the daily and weekly press. It was a tale to move 
the most lethargic: "Yet — God help us! these things have 
come to pass, and Iron Crosses have rewarded the perpe- 
trators of these crimes." . . . Pulpits and "the pictures," 
aerial bombs full of leaflets, methods spectacular and se- 
date — all were enlisted with unresting brio and purpose. 
Veteran soldiers had a hand in the educative game. "We 



326 AMERICA'S BAY 

must finish it on the other side," General Leonard "Wood 
warned America. "Otherwise they will finish it over 
here." 

This propaganda succeeded. Apathy was slowly fired 
with love of country ; the hostile elements were stilled, the 
hyphenate millions forced into lip-service at least to the 
great American mission. Even the Irish began to warn 
their brethren overseas not to expect sympathy for anti- 
British ebullitions. 

All this suasion can be traced to President "Wilson. He 
sat alone in his study on the second floor of the White 
House, tapping an old typewriter whose peculiar script is 
a token of confidential communication. In this sanctum 
was the slogan born: "Food will win the war!" Here, 
in Lincoln's Cabinet Chamber, Wilson wrote his famous 
Notes; his historic Messages to Congress, too, and less 
formal exhortation to the care-free people whose guardian 
he was. "We are upon a war footing," he urged, when 
supporting his Fuel Controller. "And I am confident that 
the people of the United States are willing to observe the 
same sort of discipline which might be involved in actual 
conflict itself." Sitting here alone (always alone), the 
Chief Executive expounded the Prussian drift with per- 
fect grasp of its pervasive devilry. 

This moral preparation took a long time, and little was 
done on the material side until the President could say, 
"The eyes of the people are opened, and they see." Fac- 
tion and conflict faced him everywhere. He had "big" 
men to choose — and to dismiss, as he did Chairman Den- 
man and General Goethals when they fell out over the 
details of emergency ships. Most difficult of all, there 
was the froth of sedition and pacifism of every hue to whip 
from the Melting Pot of races. 

This Dr. Wilson did with due severity. "I hear the 
voices of dissent," he owned — "Who does not? I hear 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 327 

the criticism and clamour of the noisily thoughtless and 
troublesome. ... I hear men debate peace who know 
nothing of its nature, nor the way in which we may at- 
tain it with uplifted eyes and unbroken spirit. But I 
know that none of these speak for America, nor do they 
touch its heart. They may safely be left to strut their 
uneasy hour and be forgotten." He spoke more plainly 
to the Federation of Labour at the annual Convention in 
Buffalo. "Any man in America, or anywhere else, who 
supposes that free industry and enterprise can continue 
if the Pan-German plan is achieved and German power 
fastened upon the world, is as fatuous as the dreamers 
of Russia. ' ' So did the self-styled Watchman of the White 
House "blow the trumpet and warn the people" of the 
coming Sword. 

Perhaps one day, in his lettered leisure, this scholar- 
statesman will tell us how he kindled a mixed continent 
to the Pacifist War of the world, so that in his Thanks- 
giving Proclamation he could say at last — "In this Day 
of revelation of our duty" . . . "there has been vouch- 
safed to us, in full and inspiring measure, the resolution 
and spirit of united action. We have been brought to one 
mind and purpose. A new vigour of common counsel 
and common deed has been revealed to us all." 

The President had tussles with Congress after he came 
before the Joint Session to asks for credits and extraor- 
dinary powers. More American ships had been sunk ; the 
position was very critical. A request had been made for 
the co-operation of neutral Governments — "But I fear 
none of them has thought it wise to join in any common 
course of action." 

The War Revenue Act passed the House after the cot- 
ton-tax of $2.50 a bale had been violently rejected by the 
solid South. The Food Bill was tangled up with prohi- 
bition ; for in this measure extremists saw a heaven-sent 



328 AMERICA'S DAY 

opportunity to make the continent "bone dry," and abol- 
ish strong drink for ever. Here again the President took 
a hand, urging a speedy decision in view of food specula- 
tion and rising prices, due to over-eager bidding from 
Allied agents to the detriment of the American people. 

The Senate resented this constant forcing of its pace; 
behind closed doors there was hot retaliation upon the 
Cabinet, who were said to thrust important measures upon 
Congress without due form or consideration. 

The fact is, the U. S. Constitution is out of date; the 
Great War will overhaul it drastically. Every intelligent 
American is aware of this; therefore Lord Northcliffe was 
on safe ground when he said that in many ways the Re- 
public was today much as she was in 1776. 

For many years the executive branch of the Govern- 
ment has been gaining upon the legislative in .actual power, 
and it is the separation of these two which is now re- 
vealed as a serious disability. Close association with 
France in Revolutionary days brought the Montesquieu 
theory to America, and it was written with fervour into 
the State and Federal Constitutions. 

A generation ago Woodrow Wilson himself described the 
baleful effects of this system upon the Government. It 
was also decried at the Constitutional Convention of 1915 
by men like Elihu Root and Henry L. Stimson. "I be- 
lieve," said the last-named statesman, "that by far the 
greatest part of the inefficiency and corruption from which 
we suffer in our Federal and State Governments can be 
directly traced to that venerable heresy which keeps the 
influence of our Executive out of our halls of Congress 
and assemblies. That this is a political heresy has been 
long and abundantly proven. ... It lingers on in the 
United States, however, as the fount of most of our "trou- 
bles, although cherished like a veritable Ark of the Cove- 
nant. ' ' 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 329 

But rude hands are being laid upon that ark in an era 
of militarism and anti-cultural expenditure. Already Sec- 
retary McAdoo has warned the nation that "the future 
holds a less roseate prospect for Government finance." 
Senator Martin, Chairman of the Appropriations Com- 
mittee, urged a closer scrutiny of the prodigious sums 
which Congress was voting with such enthusiasm. Five 
months of war showed appropriations totalling $20,000,- 
000,000. "We are compelled to shut our eyes," Senator 
Martin feared, "rather than hamper our men on the battle- 
field ; but our duty to trim these estimates grows more 
imperative every day. Impoverish the country if you 
will, so that victory be ours; but, for God's sake, let us 
not lavish money blindly, or we shall drift at last into peril 
and panic." 

In the Lower House yet another committee was pro- 
posed to check the vast appropriations and — as the vet- 
eran Senator Aldrich hinted — to save thirty cents on the 
dollar, whilst getting the same results. 

Here the two "divided" branches of Government clashed. 
The President protested, as he had done before over the 
Amendment to his Food Control Bill, and later over Sen- 
ator Chamberlain's suggested War Cabinet and Ministry 
of Munitions. Dr. Wilson has no illusions about the Con- 
gressional Committee. "There is a very ominous prece- 
dent in our history," he pointed out to Chairman Lever 
of the Lower House, "which shows how such a supervision 
would operate. I refer to the Committee on the Conduct 
of the War, formed by Congress during the administra- 
tion of Mr. Lincoln. It was the cause of constant and 
distressing harassment, and rendered the President's task 
all but impossible." That Inquisition became the censor 
of both Army and Ministers for four years following its 
first inquiry into the disaster of Ball's Bluff. It sum- 
moned statesmen and soldiers before it, questioning them 



330 AMERICA'S DAY 

"like refractory schoolboys," and overruling the military 
judgment of Generals Grant and Meade. 

It will therefore be seen that, as historian of the United 
States, Woodrow Wilson had significant lessons before him. 
And from the first he joined issue with fussy amateurs and 
well-meaning meddlers who had no grasp of America 's war 
or the efforts it would entail. 

In three months sixteen cantonments were built, each one 
of them housing an Army Corps. On the mechanical side 
were devices like the Liberty motor for high-powered 
planes; a standard lorry, trench-diggers, motor batteries, 
and new appliances for poison-gas, liquid flame, and lachry- 
matory fumes. Congressional appropriations leaped to ten 
or twenty times the sums normally voted, and contained 
items never seen before, such as $277,000,000 for aero- 
bombs. For the fiscal year ending June, 1918, the huge 
sum of $8,911,000,000 is required for the Army alone. 

It was the same with the Navy, which was to have a 
personnel of a quarter of a million men. Yards are en- 
larged, or new ones built, with shipways for vessels of all 
grades. There are new naval foundries and machine-shops, 
new piers and warehouses ; seaplane shops, operating bases, 
and training camps for a further 85,000 seamen. The new 
armour-plate and projectile factory at Charleston, W. Va., 
is the first to be erected west of the Alleghany Mountains. 
An inland site was chosen for this naval forge in view 
of attack from the air, with hostile warships as a possible 
base. 

These are official facts from the Bureaux of Secretaries 
Baker and Daniels ; but it would be misleading to suppose 
that America geared herself for so vast a conflict without 
serious lapse and error. "Democracy," says Secretary 
Lane of the Interior, "is not so efficient as Autocracy." 
The fact was shown before the Senate Committee on Mili- 
tary Affairs when unpleasant stories came from the Na- 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 331 

tional Armj-. "In no camp," declared Senator Wads- 
worth, "are there small-arms for half the men, so they 
are drilling with broomsticks! At Camps Meade, Fulton, 
and Spartanburg', I talked with machine-gunners who had 
never laid eyes upon a machine-gun. Many of our boys 
have no overcoats ; thousands wore light summer under- 
wear in the bitterest of weather." The Governor of Ore- 
gon complained that his guardsmen were housed in floor- 
less tents, and there was an alarming shortage of blankets. 
Three years ago General Leonard Wood attacked the War 
Department for its inertia in such matters, and became a 
target of persecution for his pains. 

The Committee of Inquiry called before them General 
Crozier, the Chief of Ordnance, and Quartermaster-General 
Sharpe, whose evidence showed the American war-machine 
overtaxed and borne down. General Crozier confessed 
that no American artillery could appear in the European 
field before the summer of 1918, and even then only 6- 
inch guns, "middle-heavies" and lesser pieces. There was 
vacillation and delay over rifle manufacture ; details of 
rechambering and interchangeability of parts were badly 
confused. 

But when all is said, these are familiar stories in the 
militarization of democracy. In America, as with us, 
there was drastic house-cleaning in bureaucratic circles. 
President Wilson is perhaps over-loyal to his Cabinet staff ; 
he selected them in 1912-1913, when America never 
dreamed of the cataclysm at hand, with all it involved of 
politico-social revolution. His War Minister was once the 
Pacifist Mayor of Cleveland, 0. — a civic reformer con- 
cerned with three-cent tram-fares, and to "safe" the dance- 
halls for exuberant youth. The First Lord of Wilson's 
Admiralty was the editor of a country paper; and Mr. 
Daniels' ideals of discipline in a democratic Navy were 
too genial to last, The Presidential Council of Ten was 



332 AMERICA'S DAY 

chosen on strict party lines. All regions were represented 
with due bias towards the South, to which Dr. Wilson 
owed his victory. So far as Congress is concerned, Cab- 
inet appointments are purely personal to the President, 
and therefore apart from the Legislature, in which "the 
Ministers have no seats. 

This curious aloofness has been debated for fifty years, 
and is now known for a flaw in the Constitution. Jefferson 
never spoke face to face with Congress as Wilson does 
today ; written Messages were sent by a White House clerk 
to give the lawmakers "information of the state of the 
Union." The Ten Executive Departments, though within 
a stone 's-throw of the Capitol dome, might as well be in 
Paris or London so far as Congress is concerned. The 
result is a diffusion of energy which makes for delay and 
muddle to a lamentable decree. Of course it cannot last. 
President Wilson himself is in favour of seating Cabinet 
officers in Congress for the better expedition of affairs, 
particularly at a time like this.- 

It is at least possible that the present Watchman of the 
White House will see the passing of the Prussian Swofd, 
and some attempt to establish that League of Nations 
which is the prior and fundamental feature of his endur- 
ing peace, and not— as the German Chancellor would have 
it — a matter to be considered "after all the other ques- 
tions in suspense have been settled." Wilson's second 
term expires in 1920. Already America is scanning the 
political horizon with no great hope of finding a successor 
to the ablest Executive who ever led her to the vindication 
of her ideals. At this writing the United States is still in 
"her honeymoon of the war," but her Allies need have no 
fear of her fortitude in the hap ahead, with its seesaw of 
calamity and triumph, its test and trial of endurance on 
the part of civilians as well as soldiers. "We are out to 
win," is the Wilson note. And if I know anything of 



THE WATCHMAN AND THE SWORD 333 

America, each set-back will only burn her purpose deeper 
to make an end of that German curse which the President 
has branded as ''the enemy of mankind." 



CHAPTER XVII 

GERMANY AND AMERICA IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 

"So soon as we communicate and are upon a familiar 
footing of intercourse, we shall understand one another. 
And the bonds between the Two Americas will be such 
that no influence the world may produce in future will 
ever break them." (President Wilson to Delegates of the 
Pan-American Financial Conference at Washington.) 

The United States has three foreign problems which are 
peculiarly her own:— (1) The integrity and stability of 
Mexico, (2) the inviolability of the Latin Republics in 
Central and South America, and (3) the policy of the 
"Open Door" in China, which involves the question of 
relations with Japan. The matter of Mexico is of the 
first importance. So far back as 1826 Daniel Webster 
laid stress upon this fact in the Lower House of Congress, 
pointing out that whilst a foreign landing, say in the 
River Plate, might be only a matter for diplomatic pro- 
test, a similar attempt in the Mexican Gulf would call for 
drastic action on the part of the United States. 

But the factor of distance has shrunk since those days; 
the hidden hand of Germany has raised afresh the spectre 
of foreign aggression which alarmed Jefferson, Monroe, 
and Calhoun. Germany's expansive policy, coupled with 
pacific penetration in Central and South America (espe- 
cially Brazil), has of late years roused the Washington 
Government to a decisive course. The German aims were 
plainly stated to the Imperial Reichstag by Bethmann- 

334 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 335 

Hollweg on March 30, 1911 — the .year of the Agadir coup 
and imminent world-war. 

"The condition of peaceableness is strength," the Chan- 
cellor laid down. "And the old saying still holds good 
that the weak shall be the -prey of the strong. . . . We 
Germans, in our exposed position, are above all bound 
to look this rough reality in the face. . . . Therefore the 
world, and especially the weaker countries, should take 
this warning to heart. For it implies more than passive 
recognition of a fact; it is the declaration of a policy — 
the policy of expansion which we consider indispensable 
to the cause of world-peace and the existence of the Ger- 
man Empire." 

Here was the brigand code set forth in the twentieth 
century. "Gentlemen," said the same high spokesman to 
the same assembly three and a half years later, "we are 
now in a state of necessity (Notwehr). And necessity 
knows no law." Such was the Chancellor's apologia for 
the martyrdom of Belgium which Germany was sworn to 
protect. What wonder, then, that the Monroe doctrine 
of "Hands off the New World" became an urgent concern 
of President Wilson in his second term? America had 
had her own Agadir alarms due to the dira necessitas of 
expansive Deutschtum. There was the Samoan dispute 
in 1889 ; the menace of Von Diederich to Admiral Dewey 
at Manila in 1898; Roosevelt's ultimatum to Von Ilolleben 
in the Venezuelan affair of 1902. And there were German 
efforts to get a foothold in Haiti, and to acquire the 
Danish islands in the Caribbean with a view to estab- 
lishing a naval base on St. Thomas or St. John, and with 
it a great entrepot for Central and South American trade 
which should command the eastern entrance of the Panama 
Canal. 

Already the harbour of Charlotte Amalie was an ap- 
panage of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. In 1902 Roose- 



336 AMERICA'S DAY 

velt and John Hay could have bought the Danish group 
for $5,000,000, but the German "hand" nipped all nego- 
tiation, and the treaty was defeated in the Copenhagen 
Landsting by only one vote. By 1917 the price had risen 
to $25,000,000; and on April 1 Mr. Lansing handed- a 
cheque for that amount to the Danish Minister in Wash- 
ington, thus closing a deal which had been vaguely debated 
for fifty years. 

That Germany has long looked upon Latin America as 
her Promised Land admits of no doubt; the evidence is 
overwhelming, apart from the intrigues published by the 
Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate. The design 
is naively stated by all the Pan-German apostles. Wilhelm 
Sievers points out that the "Empty Continent" is the only 
white man's territory left — "therefore we must hasten to 
take possession of it." Ludwig Riemer proposed an ex- 
peditionary force of "technicians and engineers, scholars, 
business men, and managers," who might effect the blood- 
less conquest of this prize by the push-and-go of Prussian- 
ism. Von Liebert was for concentrating Deutschtum in 
the Argentine, Uruguay, and Brazil, so that "a powerful 
body, united to the Fatherland by every tie, might organ- 
ize that Greater Germany of which the Emperor spoke to 
us in 1895." 

The Pan-German Atlas of Paul Langhans, published at 
Gotha in 1900, shows three-quarters of a million Germans 
in the Latin Republics. And of all "our Antarctic Col- 
onies," the most flourishing and cohesive were those of 
Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catharina, and Parana in South- 
ern Brazil. 

These settlements owe their origin to an invitation from 
the Brazilian Government in the first half of the nineteenth 
century, with a view to developing vacant provinces of 
vast extent and potential riches. In 1849 the Hamburger 
Kolonisationverein was formed, and the following year a 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 337 

barber named Blumenau founded the Brazilian colony 
which bears his name today. It contains 40,000 Germans, 
isolated like the rest from "inferior" Latin elements around 
them. German schools and traditions foster the ideals of 
Deutschheit in this land. Visiting merchants who use 
the ports of Pelotas and Sao Pedro scout and scorn all 
things Brazilian. Lutheran pastors come and stay for 
years as politico-social missionaries ; they are maintained 
from the homeland, and preach the divine right of Kaiser- 
dom and the doctrine of Allmacht on the usual biological 
lines. 

There are associations in Germany which support the 
teaching of German in these colonies; substantial grants, 
up to half a million marks, figure in the Imperial Budget 
for the same purpose. On their part the colonists have 
their Vereine and patriotic clubs, as well as the ritual of 
the Bierkomment to foster the sentiments of the Father- 
land in remote highland pastures, in the ranches and coffee- 
fazendas. The Federal Government in Rio is prevented 
by the Constitution of 1891 from interfering with public 
instruction in the States; here is another parallel with the 
hyphenate problem in North America. The Brazilian au- 
thorities have, however, closed the German shooting clubs 
and confiscated over 100,000 rifles belonging to exuberant 
colonists who talked of armed insurrection and complete 
independence ( UnJiabhaengigkeit) . 

Long before she severed relations with Berlin, Brazil 
was aware of her hyphenate embarrassment. Herr von 
Pauli, the German Minister in Rio, played the part of 
plotter which Count Bernstorff played so long in Wash- 
ington. Strikes and riots were fomented so as to hinder 
and discourage the Government. Arms were smuggled 
down the coast, wireless stations were discovered, with 
crafty ramifications north and south. The State Govern 
ment of Rio Grande moved Loyalist troops to Portj 



338 AMERICA'S DAY 

Allegre in view of a German rising. Uruguay took similar 
steps on the frontier; she had news of a projected raid, 
and took official counsel with Argentina with this event in 
view. 

Meanwhile the destruction of Brazilian ships (the Macao 
was the fourth) with every circumstance of horror — espe- 
cially in the case of the Parana — roused native feeling to 
a dangerous pitch. Deutschheit was declared a national 
danger to Brazil. The Germans were assailed by mobs in 
Curitaba. Three hundred German buildings were burned 
in Porto Allegre alone ; and Colonel Schmidt, the Governor 
of Santa Catharina, was denounced as a traitor and a spy. 
The Brazilian press was very bitter indeed; it assailed 
its own Foreign Minister, Dr. Lauro Muller, because of 
"the terrible doubt of Brazilians as to the predominance 
of Germanism over his nationality." Dr. Muller resigned, 
and was succeeded by Senhor Nilo Pecanha, a former 
President of the Republic. 

There was in this huge land the same awakening that 
America felt ; the same alarm over unpreparedness, for 
there were barely 25,000 soldiers to defend a country as 
large as Europe. But there was also a patriotic surge, 
led by poets like Olavo Bilac, and statesmen like Senator 
Ruy Barbosa, the author of the Brazilian Constitution, 
and a leading figure at the Second Hague Conference in 
1907. 

"The juridical questions of the present war," declared 
Barbosa in the Municipal Theatre of Rio, "and the burn- 
ing problems of neutrality, afford common ground for all 
America, and especially for South America, where is found 
upon Teutonic maps a Southern Germany. ... If the 
Central Empires are victorious in this war, the German 
nation, intoxicated with pride and with Europe prostrate 
at her feet, will not hesitate to settle accounts with the 
United States; and then, violating the doctrine of Mon- 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 339 

roe, which our great neighbour is not yet strong enough 
to uphold, she will proceed to seize in South America 
those regions which the cartography of Pan-Germanism 
has so often claimed as the natural seat of its sovereignty. 
Such is my mature and profound conviction." 

It is common knowledge in Latin America that Teuton 
settlers despise their hosts and seek to dispossess them. 
The notorious Karl von Luxburg warned the Berlin For- 
eign Office, from his Legation in Buenos Aires, that "our 
easy-going good nature" was a poor policy in South Amer- 
ica — "where the people are only Indians under a thin 
veneer." So the advocate of "Sink without a trace" fa- 
voured an occasional flourish of the Mailed Fist if "our 
political aims in South America" were to be successfully 
achieved. As these included "the reorganization of South- 
ern Brazil," it is clear that the excitement in the big Re- 
public was amply justified. 

It is this shadow of Prussianism which accounts for the 
".continental solidarity," which Senor Francisco Tudela, 
Foreign Minister of Peru, announced in a Note to Secre- 
tary Lansing in Washington. Grave duties confronted 
Peru, and the "necessity of defending her rights against 
the new form of maritime warfare set up by Germany." 
So Dr. von Perl was handed his passports, and he made 
tracks for Ecuador, to which Republic he was also accred- 
ited. The Foreign Minister in Quito promptly telegraphed 
to his Legation in Lima, saying that the German Minister 
would not be received in Ecuador. Cuba and Panama de- 
clared war; Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Bo- 
livia, and Uruguay broke off relations. Chile and Argen- 
tina swayed back and forth, a prey to German influence 
and intrigue — though in the last-named State poets, peo- 
ple, and the press were all but unanimous for war. The 
vote in the Senate at Buenos Aires was twenty-three to 
one in favour of a rupture; Dr. Romulo Naon, Argentine 



340 AMERICA'S DAY 

Minister in Washington, resigned his post in protest 
against the neutral policy of President Irigoyen. 

The Anti-German demonstrations following the Luxburg 
expose were very violent, but the President continued to 
block the people's will, as the Constitution permits him to 
do. German interests in this Republic are exceptionally 
strong; the Hamburg-Amerika Line has a steamer on the 
stocks (the Cap Polonio) of 40,000 tons, intended for the 
Argentine trade alone. In German hands are the most 
thriving electrical concerns, banks, breweries, and meat- 
packing plants, as well as a large share of the sugar, wine, 
and quebracho industries. Many prominent Germans, 
among them the present Under-Secretary for Foreign Af- 
fairs, Baron von dem Busche-Haddenhausen, have married 
into wealthy Argentine families. German nobles and in- 
dustrial magnates own immense lands, one of the largest 
holders being the Kaiser's brother-in-law, Prince Adolf of 
Schaumburg-Lippe. Other great estates belong to com- 
mercial concerns in Berlin, Diisseldorf, and Hamburg. 

German designs upon Latin America took a new turn 
after the Spanish-American War, when all other Powers 
had acquiesced in the Monroe Doctrine. In October, 1900, 
we find the Emperor laying the foundation-stone of the 
Roman Museum at Saalburg and outlining his grandiose 
scheme: "May our German nation in future, aided by 
princes and people, their armies and citizens, become as 
powerful, as strongly united and unique in sway, as 
Rome's universal empire!" In this year also the new 
Navy Bill was introduced to the Reichstag, and the Pre- 
amble plainly stated that "Germany must have a fleet of 
such strength that a war, even against the mightiest naval 
Power, would involve risks threatening the supremacy of 
that Power." The indiscreet Hohenlohe put this into plain 
English when he said in his Memoirs that the new Navy 
was meant for purely offensive purposes. 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 341 

The position was simple enough in Teuton eyes. Britain, 
the Saxon historian declared, was "a decrepit Power living 
in lucky aloofness on a wealthy island." And Germany 
was the bold inheritrix (Rechtsnachfolger) of her world- 
dominions. No wonder, then, that the "Monroeismo" took 
a new turn in this baleful light. Secretary Lansing told 
the Latin delegates in Washington that it was now the 
national policy of the United States, and Pan-Americanism 
the prior principle of her international policy. 

But until the Great War revealed Prussian methods, it 
cannot be said that the Latin Republics hailed their north- 
ern protector with any great enthusiasm. Brazil alluded 
to this fact in a Note to her envoys abroad on the revoca- 
tion of her neutrality and her new alignment with the 
United States. "If there has hitherto been a lack of reci- 
procity among the South American Republics, it is be- 
cause the Monroe Doctrine permitted a doubtful interpre- 
tation of their sovereignty." Current events now ranged 
the greatest of all the Latin States beside her powerful 
sister, since the foreign policy of all had a practical orien- 
tation towards the common end of liberty and develop- 
ment. The minor Republics followed the lead of Brazil. 
President Tinoco of Costa Rica - discovered German intrigues 
to overthrow his Government. Guatemala unearthed sim- 
ilar plots "aimed at the safety and independence of the 
whole of Central America." Even erratic Haiti had her 
citizens slain by German torpedoes; and as her demands 
"in the name of humanity" were ignored, the negro State 
severed relations — to the great amusement of Berlin. 

The predominance of the United States in the Western 
Hemisphere may be said to date from the close of the 
South American War of Independence, which lasted nearly 
fifteen years and closed in 1824. 

At that time Spain still had powerful armies in South 
America; and the reconquest of her colonies was the 



342 AMERICA'S DAY 

avowed purpose of the crowned conspirators of the Holy 
Alliance who, at Verona in 1822, secretly vowed to destroy 
representative institutions and uphold the preposterous 
principle of the Divine Right of Kings. At any rate this 
is the version taught in the United States. 

British aid, military as well as financial, was felt in the 
Enipty Continent from the earliest days of its independ- 
ence. And compared with Britain's commercial and in- 
dustrial development, that of other nations is relatively 
small. In listed securities today British investments total 
at least £700,000,000, and to this must be added immense 
sums in trade credits and private enterprise. From Mex- 
ico to Chile British capital financed the Governments, built 
railways, ports and harbours, opened up new lands, tilled 
the soil, established plantations, worked the mines, raised 
flocks and herds, and furnished banking facilities for do- 
mestic and foreign use. European rivals came on the 
scene only when the pioneer work was done. So that our 
prestige has always been great: the "palabra de Ingles" — 
the Englishman's word — is still a respected bond from 
Vera Cruz to Valparaiso. 

On the other hand Monroeism, with the implied trustee- 
ship of the United States, has never been welcomed in 
Latin America, which is extremely sensitive where sover- 
eignty is concerned. This was very noticeable after the 
Mexican trouble, when President Wilson claimed to act as 
censor morion and to lead the lesser Republics, by force if 
need be, along the path of constitutional reform. It is 
pointed out that America herself has long outgrown the 
Monroeism and become an Imperial Power, by virtue of the 
Washington Treaty of Dec. 2, 1899. This gave her certain 
islands of the Samoan Group ; there was also the annexa- 
tion of Hawaii and the Philippine Islands after the war 
with Spain. So far back as 1826, when Bolivar wished to 
liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico, America vetoed the project 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 343 

and it collapsed. In 1848 the United States expanded at 
Mexico's expense, and at Colombia's in 1903. 

So the Big Sister, it was said, was by no means free from 
those designs of conquest which were thought peculiar to 
the Old World. An alliance of the so-called A. B. C. 
States (Argentina, Brazil, and Chile) was at one time 
widely mooted for preserving the balance of power ; and 
Roosevelt's tour in 1913 was mainly intended to allay these 
alarms and preach a new and modified version of Monroe- 
ism. But the U. S. policy in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Mex- 
ico left the Latin nations more suspicious than ever. Pres- 
ident Wilson's statement that America would not tolerate 
any financial or industrial control of these States was openly 
denounced in the Brazilian Chamber. It was taken to 
mean "that under pretence of emancipating our Repub- 
lics from the highly fanciful peril of European Imperial- 
ism, the United States would simply submit them to its own 
control." 

Awkward evidence on this score was Secretary Olney's 
assertion in the Venezuela-Guiana boundary dispute with 
Great Britain. "Today," Cleveland's Foreign Minister 
declared, "the United States is practically sovereign upon 
this continent ; and its fiat is law upon the subjects to 
which it confines its interposition." All authorities agree 
that this claim is void unless America can back it with 
armed forces commensurate with her imperial duties. To 
an historian like Hiram Bingham the Monroe doctrine is 
"an exploded shibboleth." To Roland Usher even the 
Pan-American movement is a sentimental dream by reason 
of racial barriers, language, religion, civilization, and in- 
frequent intercourse. It is not Europe that Latin Amer- 
ica fears, Professor Usher tells us, but the United States 
with its new schemes of political and commercial aggran- 
dizement. 

The emergent fact is America's continuous growth since 



344 AMERICA'S DAY 

the precarious day of James Monroe ; hers is no exception 
to the rule of nations, and she must needs adapt herself to 
her changing destiny. So early as 1821 she showed a de- 
sire to expand; the following year Florida was ceded by 
Spain and organized as an American Territory. In -1825 
and 1829 attempts were made to acquire Texas by pur- 
chase; Louisiana had been bought in 1803 for $15,000,000. 
And so the process went, with Indian, Mexican, and Civil 
wars, and steady expansion westward till Alaska was ac- 
quired from Russia in 1867. As a profession of chivalry 
and defence of the weak, Monroeism was left behind; it 
was never an international treaty, and became at last a 
purely American policy, based on the welfare and con- 
venience of the United States. 

The Inter-oceanic Canal marked a new era of Imperial- 
ism. In 1902 Congress empowered President Roosevelt to 
acquire the derelict French ditch for $40,000,000. The 
Spooner Act called into being the six-mile strip known as 
the Isthmian Zone; and next emerged the new Republic 
of Panama, shorn from Colombia by native rebels, backed 
by the armed forces of the United States. The lesser Re- 
public was bitterly aggrieved ; and though the Colombian 
Pact, drawn by Mr. Bryan in 1914, bound America to pay 
$25,000,000 as a douceur, mutterings of German intrigue 
continued to reach the U. S. Senate, and delayed the ratifi- 
cation. "We are told," declared Senator Lodge, "that 
Colombia will furnish submarine bases in order that Ger- 
many may assail our shipping and the Panama Canal. 
Therefore we must buy off this Latin State and make 
apology!" . . . 

I may not stay to consider so gigantic an undertaking as 
the Canal ; it was the grave of many American reputations, 
and has disappointed the American people. Admittedly it 
was a mistake to build a lock canal in a precarious region 
of earthquake and tropic floods. The choice is all the 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 345 

stranger, seeing that the engineers of five nations (includ- 
ing our own) were called into consultation, and favoured 
the sea-level system. 

M. Philippe Bunau-Varilla, a man of unique authority — 
he was chief engineer of the Second Panama Company — 
points out how this essential artery of military navigation 
is now at the mercy of aerial bombs. And the wrecking of 
gates and walls might separate for months the fleets of the 
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Moreover the Canal, as at 
present constructed, could not give passage to those capital 
ships of 110 ft. beam and 200,000 horse-power which 
America has in view. It is therefore suggested that the 
famous ditch be further excavated for 100 ft. and turned 
into "the Strait of Panama." This would, of course, be a 
sea-level affair, and its completion need not seriously inter- 
fere with the working of the existing Canal — into which, by 
the way, our Minister beheld two ranges of hills sliding with 
uncanny persistence. Howbeit, America has a second 
string to her bow in the Nicaragua route, which unofficial 
estimates showed would be cheaper than the constant re- 
moval of land-slides from the Culebra Cut of the Panama 
Canal. The Nicaragua venture was suggested years ago 
by Senator Morgan and Admiral J. G. "Walker. Work was 
begun, but the project failed through lack of funds in 1893. 

"We need all the friends we can attach to us in Central 
America," President Wilson wrote to Senator Stone, Chair- 
man of the Foreign Relations Committee. Yet the touchy 
Latin States continued to find affronts. Costa Rica com- 
plained that her territorial claims in the Nicaragua Canal 
option had been ignored. Salvador, Honduras, and Guate- 
mala lodged protests over the new American naval base 
in Fonseca Bay, on the ground that their approval had 
not been sought. Then Colombia put in a shadowy claim 
to the two islands in question, asserting that the King of 
Spain had awarded them to her 113 years ago. But enough 



346 AMERICA'S DAY 

has been said to show the mistrust with which the Yanqui 
was viewed in Latin America before the Great War broke 
out. His moves were disconcertingly abrupt. A lack of 
punctilio marked them all, a certain want of simpatia which 
the Germans were not slow to emphasize. 

For years before the war, official America was puzzled 
at the mysterious antagonism of many of the Latin Re- 
publics. This is now known to have been due to German- 
owned newspapers printed in Spanish and edited on anti- 
American lines. The new Militarismus of America — an 
Imperial America with the habit of war and great offen- 
sive establishments — was artfully presented to the Latin 
States as that of a new Colossus from whom everything 
was to be feared. Sinister motives were ascribed to each 
visit of the U. S. fleet : "To put the fear of big guns into 
little countries," was how the Latin-American patriot, 
Chavero, described it. Peru took offence when the cruiser 
Tennessee called at Callao, and Secretary McAdoo refused 
to land: there was rumour of bubonic plague in the port. 
Tins touchiness was kept alive by a host of German 
leagues and clubs from Mexico City, where the Society of 
the Iron Cross was busy, down to Valparaiso; here the 
central Deutsch-Chilenischer Bund is affiliated with forty- 
four branches in as many towns. The aim of all intrigue 
was to inflame public opinion in the Latin nations and 
present German influence as a counterbalance to the new 
"Monroeismo" and the growing aggression of the United 
States. Hence the trouble in Cuba — in Honduras, Sal- 
vador, and Nicaragua, too, with Lehmann, the German 
Minister to Guatemala, as chief plotter and master mind. 

These plans were periodically published by the State 
Department in Washington, and also by the Foreign Re- 
lations Committee of the Senate. The process of " tun- 
nelling the Monroe Doctrine" was plainly shown all the 
way from Paraguay to Haiti, where Germany had her eye 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 347 

on a naval base* at Mole St. Nicolas. Hidden schemes were 
now brought to light — the cancelling of Allied contracts 
in South America, the stirring of sedition and resentment, 
as well as the chain of wireless stations which played so 
fatal a part in the destruction of Admiral Cradock's 
squadron. In Nicaragua, German agents were outbidding 
the American Treaty offer for a new Canal route, offering 
two million dollars more. 

All these moves were supported by a native press, by 
local German Chambers of Commerce, too, and by ener- 
getic bodies in Germany, such as the South American 
League, of which Herr Dernburg is President, and Gustav 
Schmoller, of Berlin University, the most eloquent advo- 
cate. "South America is the land of the future," this 
economist declared. "There is more for us in the Empty 
Continent than in any part of Africa." Schmoller pic- 
tures a new German Empire in the Western Hemisphere 
when the Great War is over, and the formidable forces of 
Deutschtum are once more loosed in industry and trade. 

Hamburg has its Iberian-American Union, with a review 
of its own published in Spanish — the Cultura Latino-Amer- 
icana. There are also pamphlets and guide-books for com- 
mercial houses interested in the ambitious program "when 
we build up afresh in South America on the lines of Han- 
seatic tradition and experience." The vast web of Ger- 
man propaganda, closely linked with Weltpolitik and the 
military machine, called for counter-efforts on the part of 
the United States. Long ago Director-General John Bar- 
rett, of the Pan-American Union in Washington, warned 
his Government that such measures were urgently needed 
in view of swarming German agents, whose efforts might 
"completely nullify all the apparent advantages of Pan- 
American co-operation and support in the war. ' ' 

As the war progressed and Wilson's leadership was 
weighed, a notable change came over South American 



348 AMERICA'S DAY 

opinion. It is a fact that German methods of war shocked 
all these nations, however lurid their own histories might 
have been. No denunciation of the Kaiser equals in fury 
the "Apostrofe" ("To a Crowned Assassin") which the 
Argentine poet, Almafuerte, published in La Plata. Nov- 
elists, essayists, classical scholars, and men of science were 
soon pleading the Allied cause with less invective and much 
more cogent reason : Dr. Luis Drago, who brought a South 
American doctrine of his own to The Hague ; Paul Groussac, 
Director of the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires, Jose 
Enrique Rodo, the Uruguayan writer, and Professor de 
Medeiros e Albuquerque, who spoke for Brazil. 

These intellectuals laid stress upon the impassable gulf 
between Deutschheit and their own material interests, their 
racial affinities and cultural traditions. "The psychology 
of the Brazilian people," Professor de Medeiros pointed 
out, "is radically and fundamentally opposed to that of 
the German people. Their mutual antipathy is not a senti- 
ment such as newspapers may inflame one day and quench 
the next. It is a profound and essential antagonism, more 
deeply seated than that of any European people, not ex- 
cepting even the French." This writer reviewed the re- 
peated German efforts in Brazil, beginning with the 
military mission which the Kaiser proposed, and Marshal 
Hermes de Fonseca was cajoled into backing, as a means 
of reorganizing the Brazilian Army. The next offensive 
was against the native press. Newspaper debts were 
bought up, and skilful moves set afoot to compel embar- 
rassed journals to espouse the German cause. After that, 
pro-Germanism raised its head in the Rio Congress; but 
national feeling ran too high, for Brazil was too well aware 
of the Prussian danger in her midst. 

Gradually the influence of President Wilson began to 
reassure these Latin nations. Pan-American Congresses 
were called to Washington, one of them with the specific 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 349 

object of improving financial relationships. And in out- 
lining his policy, Dr. Wilson implied that domestic peace 
between the Latin States was a condition precedent to 
the new era of Pan-American co-operation and prosperity. 
First of all, the political independence and territorial in- 
tegrity of every Republic should be guaranteed. All out- 
standing boundary and other disputes were to be handled 
by patient investigation, and settled by friendly means. 
No State should abet or permit the equipping of revolu- 
tionary expeditions against the Government of any other 
State, nor allow munitions of war to be exported for that 
purpose. 

America now had millions to lend for the development 
of her sister nations. Her merchant marine was being 
restored; and as an earnest of it a new freight and pas- 
senger service was started from New York to Valparaiso 
by way of the Panama Canal, which saves four thousand 
miles over the old Magellan route. 

But when all is said, it is impossible to forecast the drift 
of this Pan-American movement. The lesser Republics are 
quick to resent any interference. Canada is not interested 
at all. There are, moreover, foreign colonies and islands — 
British, French, and Dutch — which Pan-American zealots 
would purchase or "restore," as the Falklands to the Ar- 
gentine Republic. This is the view of Mr. Charles H. 
Sherrill, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of 
the U. S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Another 
ambitious scheme is the Pan-American Railroad from New 
York to Buenos Aires, a distance of 10,471 miles. Many 
links are already in existence, but 3309 miles remain to be 
built, and it is doubtful whether the project will ever be 
completed. 

Other thinkers believe that time and fate will bring an 
American Protectorate over all the territory between the 
Rio Grande and the Isthmian Zone. The late Admiral 



350 AMERICA'S DAY 

Mahan was for limiting the Monroe doctrine to the defence 
of the Canal itself. No foreign Power should be allowed 
a foothold within striking distance of that strategic water- 
way. Mahan thought that Monroeism, applied to the whole 
South American Continent, would impose a weightier bur- 
den than the Great Republic could bear. In any case it 
is clear that President Wilson's first concern is to ensure 
peace among the Latin States and to sublimate good from 
the Great War by drawing the two continents together as 
"an example to the world in freedom of institutions, free- 
dom of trade, and intelligence of mutual service." 

It is more than doubtful, however, whether peace can be 
indefinitely kept among the Latin Republics. Chile is 
especially feared, as an oligarchy with a truculent record. 
In the war of 1879-83 she attacked and defeated both Bo- 
livia and Peru, taking from the latter the nitrate fields of 
Tarapaca and the provinces of Tacna and Arica. The 
Chilean Army is German-trained, the country poor, but 
undeniably ambitious. In 1898, over disputed goldfields, 
she mobilized for war against Argentina ; but British 
arbitration went against her, awarding her rival valuable 
lands in Southern Patagonia. High up in the Andes the 
two nations erected a dramatic statue of Christ, the Peace- 
maker, and a bronze tablet below records the vow: "These 
mountains shall crumble to dust ere Chile and Argentina 
break the solemn pact which they registered at the Saviour's 
feet." 

Bolivia desires an outlet on the sea, and would no doubt 
take over Tacna and Arica in case of further trouble be- 
tween Chile and Peru. Colombia has a grievance of her 
own against the last-named State; Venezuela could be 
relied upon to invade Colombia and seize lands which are 
likewise in dispute. Lastly, Paraguay has territory to 
redeem from the Argentine, and believes that she might 
count upon Brazilian aid in the attempt in view of yet 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 351 

another long standing feud. He is indeed a pink thinker 
who imagines perpetual peace among these proud and 
primitive Republics. Their finances are still chaotic, and 
caste is glaringly marked. Beside a small and lavish aris- 
tocracy is a politico-military party, variable as the moon 
and freaked with lawless "dictatorships," like those of 
Cipriano Castro in Venezuela and Jose Santos Zelaya in 
Nicaragua. Below* these ranks are the masses, commonly 
sunk in ignorance and squalor, and all too easily led by the 
loudest pretender. Illiteracy in Guatemala reaches 92 per 
cent. Therefore the new armed might of the United States, 
well and wisely used as it will be in defence of Democracy 
and Right, cannot fail to be a blessing to the South Ameri- 
can peoples, whose delegates President Wilson greeted in 
Washington with no formal welcome, but one "from the 
heart as well as from the head." 

The Empty Continent, as it is called, contains one-eighth 
of the land-surface of the earth, and has barely the popula- 
tion of the British Islands. Argentina alone is almost as 
large as our Indian Empire. Roughly speaking, Brazil has 
the same area as the European continent ; a single province 
of Peru (Loreto) is larger than Austria-Hungary by 40,000 
square miles. It is a mistake to suppose that Spanish and 
Portuguese are the only languages spoken. In Tierra del 
Fuego, a country no bigger than Scotland, three distinct 
dialects are used, and five or six in the Paraguayan Chaco. 
It is no wonder that Germany mapped out an Empire in 
these parts, for there is no limit to the riches of this un- 
developed world. 

Since food has proved a vital factor in the Great War, it 
is worth while to consider South American supplies — al- 
ways bearing in mind that not one-tenth of the area suit- 
able for the raising of such products is at present under 
cultivation. Countries bordering on the Caribbean and 
the Mexican Gulf alone stand ready to supply 300,000 head 



352 AMERICA'S DAY 

of cattle every year. Three-fourths of the Latin States 
have in recent years become exporters of food-animals or 
meat; and foremost among these are Argentina, Uruguay, 
Paraguay, and Venezuela. Mexico sends the United States 
4,000,000 lbs. of meat each year. Of beef, Latin America 
exported last year 340,000 metric tons, valued at $104,000,- 
000. This came largely from Argentina and the south; 
but the immense plateaus and uplands of Central America 
and northern South America are perfectly adapted for the 
raising of flocks and herds on a huge scale. 

Of wheat, maize, and other grains the export was 6,000,- 
000 metric tons, worth $160,000,000; of sugar, 3,236,000 
tons, worth $271,000,000 ; of coffee, 18,000,000 bags, worth 
$191,000,000; of cacao, 126,000 tons, worth $35,000,000. 
Coco-nuts and pines represented $3,500,000; every week 
saw 116,000,000 bananas delivered to the United States 
alone. These products are capable of indefinite expansion, 
and in this work America is now taking an energetic hand. 

Apart from meat, Latin- American exports for last year 
totalled $774,000,000. Special efforts are now being made 
to grow sugar. Suitable areas in Brazil are thirty times 
greater than those of Cuba, which last year produced three 
million metric tons. Peru and San Domingo could increase 
ten-fold their present cane cultivation, and great tracts of 
Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecua- 
dor are likewise suitable for this valuable crop. 

Three-fourths of Latin America can easily furnish sub- 
stitutes for the staple grains. Yams, for instance ; manioc 
and banana-flour, rice, beans, figs and coco-nuts. On both 
sides of the Equator are lands with extraordinary climatic 
advantages. Even in waste places valuable products are 
found, like the stunted tagua-palm, whose big seeds yield a 
vegetable ivory for which Hamburg devised special ma- 
chinery of manufacture. Three corn crops a year are often 
possible in Latin America; and Washington is now send- 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 353 

ing agricultural chemists and experts into the sister States 
to demonstrate new ways of farming and marketing. Mr. 
C. H. Townsend, of the Bureau of Entomology, points to 
the State of Amazonas, in Brazil, as by far the richest on 
earth in regard to possible human subsistence. Every 
conceivable food-stuff could here be grown. Yet the cap- 
ital city of Manaos, and other important centres, are 
actually compelled to import supplies, such is the lack of 
development in a peerless State more than three times the 
size of the German Empire, though with a smaller popula- 
tion than the city of Bradford. 

Pan-American advocates point out that up till 1914 
almost all the Government and private loans of the Latin 
States were raised in Europe. This supply has been cut 
off, and is unlikely to be renewed for many years after the 
war. Therefore the financing of Latin America is become 
a matter for the United States, and must in every way be 
beneficial on the prudent lines laid down by President 
"Wilson. It is thought that if $500,000,000 were invested 
in the twenty Republics during the next five years, it 
would result in an increase of Pan-American trade to a 
like amount. 

But first of all, the banking interests of the United States 
and their bond-buying constituencies must be educated in 
Pan-American possibilities. Nor should this be difficult, 
thanks to the impetus given to bond-buying by the famous 
Liberty Loans. One of these was taken up hy four million 
investors, whereas less than 300,000 Americans had previ- 
ously owned Government bonds ; they preferred municipal 
issues at home, and mining, railroad, and industrial stocks, 
which were subject to erratic fluctuation and market 
manipulation. Unfortunately the Latin States are asso- 
ciated in the American mind with periodic revolutions and 
political instability. Cartoonists have long pictured the 
bravo who seizes the reins of government with no larger 



354 AMERICA'S DAY 

following than a few ragged peons and a mule. Pan- 
American apostles now point out that this comic-opera 
regime is over, and the United States intent upon the eco- 
nomic soundness of the whole hemisphere. 

In round figures, American trade with the Latin States 
for 1917 showed an increase of three hundred per cent, over 
the figures for 1914. Nine months' imports (especially cop- 
per) from Chile were greater by $53,000,000 than they 
were two years previously. Those from Peru were $17,- 
000,000 up, and so in proportion with Uruguay, Colombia, 
and Ecuador. The increase in exports from the United 
States was equally large. Peru is extending her cotton 
production, Brazil is exporting five times more beef cattle 
than she did in 1916; Argentina is striving to make up 
for Australia's restricted export of wool. 

It is the belief of Director Barrett of the Pan-American 
Union that five years after peace is declared, Latin 
America's commerce will reach five billion dollars, 
evenly divided between Europe and the United States. 
The National City Bank of New York, America's most 
powerful financial concern, has inaugurated the new era by 
opening branches in Rio and Buenos Aires, in Santos, Sao 
Paulo, Bahia, Montevideo and Santiago. This is but a 
beginning. The same bank publishes a magazine called 
The Americas, and this contains valuable information for 
traders who wish to enlist in the new "economic offensive" 
which the United States is planning after the war on both 
Government and private lines. 

Meanwhile the Pan-American Union in Washington has 
taken a fresh lease of life for the coming Day. This is an 
International Bureau of Information, maintained by the 
twenty Latin Republics and the United States. It is 
housed in a very handsome building, which Mr. Carnegie 
gave at a cost of a million dollars. American diplomats 
like Mr. C. H. Sherrill, a former Minister in Buenos Aires, 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 355 

and consular agents like Mr. E. B. Filsinger write books 
and pamphlets to promote the growth of Pan-American- 
ism. The last-named was president and commissioner of 
the Latin-American Trade Association. These prudent 
guides explain the tariffs and customs laws, the perils of 
unstable exchange and the peculiar tastes and prejudices 
of South American importers, with whom Yankee hustle 
may be grievously out of place. Therefore stress is laid 
upon the social side of business deals; the value of cour- 
tesy and tact, which "cut so little ice" north of the Mex- 
ican Line, where goods and price are the most appealing 
factors. 

The whole of this trade offensive — it is by no means 
confined to Latin America — has shrewd backing from the 
American Government and its bureaucracies. Gone for 
ever is the shirt-sleeves diplomacy and "political" Con- 
sular Service of the United States; both were overhauled 
during the four terms of Roosevelt and Wilson. The Re- 
organization Act of April 5, 1906, graded all the American 
consuls. It provided for inspection and supervision, it 
required all official fees to be accounted for and turned 
into the Treasury, at the same time providing adequate 
salaries, and thoroughly Americanizing the service by in- 
sisting that all officers of over $1000 a year should be citi- 
zens of the Republic. 

As usual, unlimited power in this matter was vested 
in the President. With these reforms went a new merit 
system devised by Secretary of State Root. This consisted 
in an efficiency-record of each consul: his ability, prompt- 
ness, and diligence; his personal conduct whilst in office, 
and the character of his trade reports to the Department. 
These records are consulted by the Secretary of State, 
and brought to the President's notice with a view to pro- 
motion, transfer, or retention in office. In this way a 
good man was assured that his work would not be for- 



356 AMERICA'S DAY 

gotten by a new Administration; and his service to the 
nation's commerce was made independent of the ebb and 
flow of party politics. The Department of Commerce 
and Labour publishes a daily brochure of Consular Re- 
ports and Foreign Trade Opportunities. Here is a college 
in Buenos Aires asking for school and laboratory supplies. 
A Dutch house inquires about maple rollers for making 
wall-paper; the Chilean Government is about to invite 
tenders for seventy-nine miles of railway (with important 
bridges) from Asorno to Puerto Montt. 

Shoes for the Balkan States, horses for British artillery, 
motor-cars for India, a meat-packing plant for Serbia ; 
trams for Salonica, water-pipes for Tsing-tau, candles for 
Uruguay, cheap jewels for Korea, with hints on packing 
and pilfering en route, together with sad reflections on the 
Turk and the guileful Chinee. These reports, acute and 
terse, are extraordinarily interesting. They tell of markets 
for all goods, from a gramophone to a case of chewing- 
gum ; orange-wrapping machinery, street sprinklers, and 
portable houses for Central and South America. More- 
over, the consuls take note of every foreign institution 
likely to be of service; and from the frequency, variety, 
and intelligence of these remarks, a man is judged and 
weighed. Of course the great staples sell themselves — 
cotton, petroleum, grains, and ores. It is in finding mar- 
kets for manufactured goods that the American consuls 
are so clever ; and due meed is properly given them in State 
Papers when the Government deals with the huge increase 
of trade which recent years have seen. 

In the Latin States the rivalry between American and 
German consuls became intense before the Great Republic 
declared war and gave a lead to her sister nations, grap- 
pling them to her with new ties — "now that all trust in 
treaties and international loyalty is gone." I quote from 
Brazil's regretful Note to the Holy See. 



IN THE "EMPTY CONTINENT" 357 

It was America's task to attack the net of commerce 
and finance with which Germany had covered the Empty 
Continent. A start was made with a "black-list" of 
nearly two thousand enemy firms — banks, business houses, 
merchants, public utility concerns, and the like. America 
never thought she would have a black-list ; her President 
and State Secretary had said as much. Had she not al- 
ready protested over similar measures taken against her 
own firms by the British and French Governments? But 
war is a great teacher. In July, 1917, Washington began 
to black-list the largest and most dangerous combinations 
of German capital in Latin America; billions of dollars 
were here represented. Exports to these concerns were for- 
bidden by law or made subject to license. Imports from 
them were only permitted in liquidation of American 
debts. 

In this work the War Trade Board was assisted by 
commercial attaches and consuls, who, in order to minimize 
inconvenience, furnished the names of non-enemy firms as 
substitutes for the proscribed concerns. The latter had 
been politically active, aiding German raids and plots, fo- 
menting strikes in the familiar style; furthering German 
aims and paying for propaganda which had reached amaz- 
ing proportions. The new theory forced upon England 
and the United States by the German patriotismus was that 
an enemy was an enemy — not only in his own country, but 
wheresoever he was found. To what extent German in- 
terests in South America will recover after the war, it is 
not yet possible to say. Certain it is that the United States 
will use her opportunity to the utmost — not in mere trade 
alone, let me hasten to say, but also in firm and tactful 
leading of these nations towards political stability and 
reconstruction. 

As a belligerent Power on a great scale, America's mis- 
sion has often been stated by President Wilson. "It is 



358 AMERICA'S DAY 

for us a war of high principle," he claims, "debased by 
no selfish ambition of conquest or spoliation. Our object 
is to vindicate Peace and Justice in the life of the world 
. . . and to set up among the really free and self-governed 
peoples such a concert of purpose and action as will hence- 
forth ensure those principles." 



CHAPTER XVIII 

"our own eastern question" 

("There had undoubtedly arisen between the peoples of 
Japan and the United States an unfortunate misconcep- 
tion of each other's motives in regard to China. . . . The 
tendency to mistrust spread to such an extent as to as- 
sume alarming proportions. 

"We know now that it was fostered by a campaign of 
falsehood, secretly carried on by agents of the German 
Government, which, as part of its foreign policy, thought 
it well to alienate America and Japan, hoping, in the event 
of trouble with either Power, to have in the other at least 
a friend, and possibly an ally. . . ." — Secretary of State 
Robert Lansing.) 

Looking into the future, America is a little anxious 
over her military transformation. Is it likely to be per- 
manent? Will the times return to their primitive gold 
when this era of blood and iron has passed; or is the 
divine precept, "Bear ye one another's burdens," to be 
carried out indefinitely with bayonet and bomb? The 
veteran, Dr. Eliot of Harvard, is afraid the great Lesson 
will leave untouched the unholy feud which Lucretius 
saw in the fiercely battling forces of the world. Already 
Bills have been brought into Congress to fasten military 
service upon the United States. War Secretary Baker, 
in his annual report, soothes a pacific people by deferring 
policy in this regard until peace comes again, and perhaps 
with it a rational measure of disarmament and guarantees. 

359 



360 AMERICA'S DAY 

This is also the President's view, and that of the masses in 
the main who are content to wait and see, bearing in mind 
the old racecourse maxim, "When it's wet, do not bet." 

There still lingers in the United States a body of opinion 
which dreads preparation for war, and would somehow 
compromise with the monster of militarism, lest Force come 
to be regarded as the sole hope of liberty in the twentieth 
century as it was in the seventeenth. It is worth while to 
notice this wistful sentiment as I pass, for although quies- 
cent now it is likely to reassert itself at the first opportunity. 
The military machine, these pacifists contend (they are 
found in Congress as well as out of it), is a dangerous 
possession — explosive, impersonal; responding to the light- 
est touch, as the avalanche moves to the perching bird 
or the slam of a cottage door in the Alpine valley. It is a 
feeling of this kind which Congress has always opposed to 
the arming of the United States, quoting the desideratum 
of "William James with inveterate hope. "One hears," the 
philosopher said, "of the mechanical equivalent of heat. 
What we now need to discover in the social realm is the 
moral equivalent of war — something heroic that will spread 
to men as universally as war does, and yet will be as com- 
patible with their spiritual selves as war has proved to be 
incompatible." 

Of this wordy stuff and the hindrance it entailed, Gen- 
eral Crozier, of the Bureau of Ordnance, spoke quite 
frankly in his evidence before the Military Committee of 
the Senate. For years, the witness pointed out, Congress 
had cut down the appropriations for artillery until they 
were "absolutely inadequate." The result was that the 
work of years had to be crowded into a few hurried months, 
with the inevitable "difficulties and present partial delays," 
to which the President alluded in his reply to Count 
Hertling and Count Czernin. The American Press passed 
all the errors and muddles in angry review — the personal 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 361 

friction and resignations; the absurd red tape, the disap- 
pointments and failure to accomplish enormous programs 
in hand. Blame for these things, as the Washington Star 
pointed out, should not be laid upon present-day officials, 
but upon "past Congresses, acting under the influence of 
ranting spell-binders and dreaming millennialists. " 

It must be said that these are today a shrinking band — 
especially since Viscount Ishii sprang his Japanese "Mon- 
roe Doctrine for Asia" on the United States in 1917. 
This supplements the Root-Takahira Agreement of 1908, 
which in turn reaffirmed Secretary Hay's policy of the 
Open Door in China to which the Powers agreed in 1900. 
The text of the Ishii-Lansing Memorandum is in part as 
follows : ' ' In order to silence mischievous reports which 
have from time to time been circulated, it is believed by us 
that a public announcement once more of the desires and 
intentions shared by our two Governments is advisable. 

"The Governments of the United States and Japan 
recognize that territorial propinquity creates special rela- 
tions between countries, and consequently the United 
States recognize that Japan has special interests in China 
— particularly in the parts to which her possessions are 
contiguous. 

"The territorial sovereignty of China, nevertheless, re- 
mains unimpaired, and the Government of the United 
States has every confidence in the repeated assurances of 
the Imperial Japanese Government that, while geographical 
position gives Japan such special interests, there is no de- 
sire to discriminate against the trade of other nations, 
or to disregard the commercial rights heretofore granted by 
China in treaties with other Powers. 

' ' The Governments of the United States and Japan deny 
that they have any purpose to infringe in any way the 
independence or territorial integrity of China; and they 
declare, furthermore, that they always adhere to the prin- 



362 AMERICA'S DAY 

ciple of the so-called 'Open Door,' or equal opportunity 
for commerce and industry in China." 

Now the good faith of America in this matter is beyond 
dispute, whereas the record of Japan is one of aggression. 
Her Twenty-One Demands, put forward by the Okuma- 
Kato Ministry in 1915, were calculated to destroy the 
sovereignty of China altogether. The notorious "Group 
V" of these demands aimed at complete control by Japan 
of the public life of China, together with its army and 
munitions of war. So that American opinion, especially on 
the Pacific Slope, was far from pleased with the new Eastern 
Monroe Doctrine, which the "yellow Prussian" put for- 
ward at a time when the white Powers were locked in 
deadly conflict. 

Let me say at once that I deal first of all with America 's 
version, passing later to that of Japan, and explaining 
friction and mistrust of long standing over the great world- 
markets of awakening Asia. For China is a land of in- 
calculable riches; it comprises one-twelfth of the earth's 
surface, and has a population of 400,000,000 souls. With 
Japan in possession, the pessimists say, she would in time 
become a menace to the world. She would realize her 
Pan-Asiatic dream, with industrial wealth beyond com- 
pute ; an immense navy, and an army of possibly twenty 
million men recruited chiefly from her Chinese vassals, 
whose fighting quality, given modern weapons and scien- 
tific leading, have been proved in many fields. Unhappily 
this martial spirit has been mainly shown in civil wars. 

The break-up of China, so long expected, may well be at 
hand by some coup de main, such as these lawless days have 
made familiar to us all. For China is a loose chaos of 
many tongues, with no national spirit informing it. A sin- 
gle province — silken Sze-chuan — is larger than France, 
and in its red basin lie the largest coal-fields in the world. 
Food crops grow twice, and even thrice in a year. Here, 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 363 

then, is an unexploited world — a derelict which expansive 
Japan, through all her statesmen from Hayashi in 1895 to 
Terauchi in 1918, has marked as the proper sphere of an 
economically poor and cramped, though proud and ambi- 
tious people. 

The late Sir Robert Hart, who gave his life to China's 
service, was for ever haunted by the fate of his adopted 
land. "The ship may go down in the night," he would 
say, as he paced the floor in the small hours. Assuredly 
the night of world-war has not bettered China's chances 
of weathering the storm. Nor has America any illusions, 
as she reviews the history of the past twenty years, culmi- 
nating in Viscount Ishii's mission, which was a portent of 
momentous change. Precisely what pressure and promise 
were brought to bear upon the United States in this matter 
is a diplomatic secret, and must remain so for a time. 
"None of us doubt," writes the typical American humorist, 
"that Japan has Pacific intentions!" 

Californian papers were more downright, reminding their 
readers of Korean "scraps of paper," now added to the 
historic heap. Three of these guaranteed the "integrity 
and independence" of that debased and wretched State. 
The last of them was made only two years before the total 
absorption of the Hermit Kingdom by Japan. The very 
name of Korea was then blotted from the map ; it was 
rechristened Chosen, and became a province of the expan- 
sive Empire by reason of that same propinquity which 
America now concedes as a ground of special interests. 
And so with Manchuria, wrested from Russia a few years 
later under public promise of its restoration to China. It 
is now a Japanese sphere. So also is Eastern Inner Mon- 
golia, together with Fukien and the Shantung promontory 
— this last taken over with the conquered German zone, 
including perpetual rights, and the railway from Tsing-tao 
to Tsinanfu, the provincial capital. 



364 AMERICA'S DAY 

America complains that propinquity and special interests 
appear to be links in an endless chain which, with avowed 
purpose, Japan is pursuing into the very heart of helpless 
China. Before the war, the Yang-tse Valley was regarded 
as a British sphere, even as Fukien was Japanese. But the 
Twenty-One Demands included joint ownership of the 
Han-yeh-ping holdings near Hankow. 

After forty centuries China remains a nebulous welter 
with no Government as we understand it; the main street 
of her heedless capital is today policed by foreign soldiers. 
It is impossible to convey the lack of nationhood which 
this Asiatic prize presents — "the only country on earth," 
as one of her intellectuals said, "which finds it necessary 
to give compensation for the withdrawal of wholly un- 
tenable demands." 

Has China any disinterested friend? Undoubtedly she 
has in the United States, which, on John Hay's recommen- 
dation, remitted half the yearly indemnity payable on ac- 
count of the Boxer havoc of 1900. This money — nearly 
$12,000,000 — was devoted to the education of Chinese boys 
in academics and technical schools of the first rank in the 
United States. It would take too long to instance all the 
goodwill manifestations of America for the Chinese peo- 
ple. In June, 1900, when the Allied ships opened fire on 
the Taku Forts, it was the U. S. commander, Admiral 
Kempff, who alone refused to take part in the bombard- 
ment, warning his colleagues that it would unite and in- 
flame all factions against the foreigners. 

That China was mindful of this friendship is seen by 
the vote in the Pekin Parliament to erect a monument 
to John Hay, who, in 1899, gave a practical turn to 
America's concern over the impending break-up of the 
Empire. The war with Japan, five years before, had 
demonstrated China's military impotence in the face of a 
foreign foe. And now the Powers of Europe were plainly 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 365 

bent on spoliation. Japan had seized Formosa and im- 
posed a fine of $185,000,000 on her late enemy; the orig- 
inal demand was much larger. Russia had taken Port 
Arthur, and was extending her influence in Manchuria. 
Germany had occupied Kiao-chau, Britain had appropri- 
ated Wei-hai-wei, France added to her Asiatic domains 
certain Chinese territory in the south. Concessions for 
railways, mines, and special privileges were being extorted 
month by month ; and the nineteenth century closed with 
the dissolution of the Chinese Empire predicted on all 
sides. 

It was on September 19, 1899, that John Hay, then 
Secretary of State, addressed his Open-Door Note to the 
predatory Powers. It was an adroit move, and, for a 
time at least, stayed further encroachment as well as en- 
hancing American prestige. Hay was trying to develop 
an alternative to those "spheres of influence" which bade 
fair to devour the Asiatic domain. Replying to him in 
an exchange of Notes, the Powers agreed to base future 
policy, not upon individual spheres, but upon the common 
interests of all. Nevertheless the military might of Japan 
— already proved against a great European Power — her 
pressing needs, and trade energy were soon assailing the 
"Open Door." 

So far back as 1895, when peace with China was con- 
cluded, Count Tadasu Hayashi stated the conqueror's plan 
in these words: "What Japan must now do is, remain 
quiet for a while in order to lull the suspicion of her which 
exists. Let her meanwhile strengthen the bases of her 
national power; let her watch and wait for the oppor- 
tunity which will one day surely come to her in the Orient." 
It is plaintive America's case that the Great War has fur- 
nished this opportunity; and the Manufacturers' Export 
Association said as much to Secretary of State Lansing 
in a notable letter, written in 1916. All indications, the 



366 AMERICA'S DAY 

members declared, "pointed to the fact that Japan, taking 
advantage of the occupation of other world-Powers with 
their own affairs, was about to take strong measures in 
carrying out her designs in China, and that in a manner 
which may seriously affect the interests of American trade, 
and promises to nullify the 'Open Door' policy to which 
Japan, in common with other Powers, is committed." 

The Association did not confine itself to vague fears, 
but reminded the Foreign Minister that "the history of 
Japanese activity in Manchuria is the history of an all 
but complete extinction of American commerce." The 
weapons used were preferential rates and vexatious hold- 
ups of foreign goods. Here was a sphere in which a trade 
of $24,000,000 speedily dropped to below $3,000,000, and 
is still on the downward grade. So far as America was 
concerned, Manchuria was another Korea. In 1907 the 
trade in grey cotton shirting and sheetings for that State 
was evenly divided between Great Britain and Japan. 
Six years later our share was eight per cent., and that of 
Japan ninety per cent. In the same interval American 
trade with Korea fell off seventy-five per cent. Here 
again were special freight rebates for the Japanese, spe- 
cial customs dues to their own people at Au-tung, and 
loans from the Yokohama Specie Bank at four and a half 
per cent., which was much below the prevailing rate. 

Another element which disturbed America was the se- 
cret Treaty between Russia and Japan, signed on July 3, 
1916. This appears to have had a definite military aim in 
keeping China free from the influence of a third Power. 
Manchurian railroads and munitions of war were also in- 
cluded in a deal which may well have conflicted with Ar- 
ticle III of Great Britain's own alliance with Japan, re- 
newed five years previously. Here the high contracting 
parties declare that neither shall enter into another agree- 
ment without consulting her partner. 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 367 

It is well known that secret diplomacy of this kind is 
very repugnant to the United States, whose love for above- 
board methods and popular assent have been so often 
set forth in President Wilson's speeches. It will be re- 
membered that the Bolsheviki of Petrograd published all 
the secret treaties they could lay hands upon in the Rus- 
sian archives. These embarrassing papers dealt with the 
fate of the Dardanelles and Persia, the future of Asiatic 
Turkey and the left bank of the Rhine, as well as induce- 
ments to Greece, Rumania, and Italy. In the latter case 
the whole Dalmatian coast was added to the Trentino, 
South Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria. Thus the Adriatic was 
to become an Italian lake, with Austria-Hungary cut off 
from her seven strategic gulfs and naval bases. President 
Wilson referred to these furtive bargains, warning states- 
men not to ignore the wide-awake opinion of democracy, 
nor to attempt "any such covenants of selfishness and 
compromise as were entered into at the Congress of Vienna. 
The thought of the plain people, here and everywhere 
throughout the world — the people who enjoy no privilege, 
and have very simple and unsophisticated standards of 
right and wrong, is the air all Governments must hence- 
forth breathe if they would live." Only upon that basis 
was there a promise of stability beyond that of the bad 
old order — "the arbitrary decisions of a few negotiators 
striving to secure, by chicanery or persuasion, the inter- 
ests of this or that dynasty or nation." 

It was this passion for the square deal which led to 
publication of the Ishii-Lansing Agreement last year. Its 
reception, I must say, was rather mixed, and many Amer- 
ican thinkers sided with Chinese publicists at home and 
abroad who posed an awkward parallel. "We feel you 
have departed from your traditional friendship," these 
last complained, "in conceding the Japanese demand. 
China is an independent nation and ought not to be made 



368 AMERICA'S DAY 

the subject of negotiation between foreign countries. Now 
suppose Japan and the United States signed another agree- 
ment — with 'Mexico' substituted for 'China.' Do you 
think that would improve Mexican- American relations?" 

German comment on the Ishii Agreement was that it 
deferred indefinitely "that war between Japan and the 
United States which has become a fixed idea with the aver- 
age German, and a definite element in our Government's 
political calculations." Another expert thought that Ger- 
many would have Japan to deal with at the peace-table 
as regards Tsing-tau, and that place in the Orient sun 
which divine right had decreed to the Herrenvolk, as the 
Kaiser so often declared in his character of seer and 
prophet. "Who can foresee," Wilhelm put to his peo- 
ple, "what events may take place in the Pacific in days 
to come — days not so far distant as some believe, and for 
which we must steadily prepare?" 

The Frankfurter Zeitung had an able article from its 
former correspondent in the Far East, and this may be 
taken as typical of German trade aims. ' ' China is the land 
of the future for the industry and enterprise of the world ; 
we must allow no blocking of our road in that spacious 
quarter. After the war we shall see fierce vying in the 
Asiatic field, and we Germans will face not only individ- 
ual competition, but also State-aided concerns, like the 
American International Corporation." The Cologne Ga- 
zette went over the same ground, and then turned to a 
grander theme — a German-Russian-Japanese coalition 
which was "a syndicate for the division of the world," 
with promising partners for the German job, which was 
of course to secure the lion's share. 

It may be recalled that Mr. Gerard, as U. S. Ambassador 
in Berlin, heard a good deal about this Teuto-Russo- 
Japanese offensive. Financiers and members of the 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 369 

* 
Reichstag assured him that Germany "would be forced" 
into such a pact if America threw her weight into the Allied 
cause, and thus brought about what Von Tirpitz called 
"the Anglo-Saxon tyranny." It was Germany's wish that 
the United States should "stay at home," as Bismarck 
thought Russia ought to do. All the world knows how 
German intrigue worked to keep America "at home." 
She was constantly reminded that she now had Imperial 
problems of her own, including an Eastern Question in 
which her Teuton "friend" took an extraordinary inter- 
est. Mr. Gerard himself tells of a strange talk with the 
Kaiser at the New Year's reception of Ambassadors in 
1914, six months before the outbreak of war. The Diplo- 
matic Corps were lined up like dragoons, six feet apart, 
in one of the palace halls when the Emperor entered with 
his staff. "He stayed longest with the Turk and myself, 
thereby arousing the curiosity of the others, who suspected 
that the Kaiser did more than merely exchange the com- 
pliments of the season. And he did. "What the Emperor 
said to me is of interest to every American, for it shows 
his subtlety of purpose. The Kaiser talked at length about 
what he called Japan's designs upon the United States. 
He warned me that Mexico was full of Japanese spies and 
an army of Japanese colonels." America must be kept 
at home, and at all costs prevented from joining hands with 
Great Britain in an "Anglo-Saxon domination." Later 
on the German press took up the theme, and dealt simul- 
taneously with this new menace to the Fatherland. For 
it might well offset the European system where docile 
States were to be ranged like satellites around the central 
German sun. In this connection a certain telegram of 
the Kaiser to Tsar Nicholas should be recalled. It was 
dispatched after the Dogger Bank affair, and made use of 
the term "Anglo-Saxon," as if to show that even then 



370 AMERICA'S DAY 

Wilhelin pictured Britain and America united against 
him on his trampling march from Antwerp to the marts 
and strongholds of Eastern Asia. 

Evidence was also published in revolutionary Russia — 
that enfant terrible of the chancelleries — showing that the 
German Emperor made overtures to Japan. The latest of 
these was on the eve of the fall of Tsing-tau, when a sep- 
arate peace was mooted on the Mikado's own terms; the 
only stipulation being that Japan should attack Russia 
as a preliminary to the Pan-Asiatic scheme which Okuma's 
Government was supposed to cherish. This proposal was 
scornfully rejected, and the Kaiser's message turned over 
to the British Ambassador in Tokio. For German intrigue 
in the Far East, especially with a view to commercial 
rivalry after the war, had been throughout inimical to 
Japan. Propaganda was carried on in the right Chinese 
quarters, which is to say among Pekin officials ; merchants 
of the Treaty Ports who handle foreign trade, and Young 
China representatives in Parliament and the Provincial 
Assemblies, where Western thought is developing. 

It is not to be denied that German prestige stood high 
with the Chinese military caste. Great play was made 
with the war-map ; subsidies were granted to native jour- 
nals which were supplied with German news by the Ost- 
Asiatische Service. Nor was there any lack of agents 
drilled in what America calls "the gimlet ways of a spy- 
and-bully system." Witness the two years' tour of Otto 
von Hentig from far Yarkand back to the security of the 
German Consulate in Hankow, leaving a trail of slaughter 
and confusion behind him. Something like $15,000,000 a 
year was paid by the Chinese Government to the Deutsch- 
Asiatische Bank: this included Germany's share of the 
Boxer Indemnity, and also interest on the two Anglo- 
German loans. So there was plenty of money available for 
evil work against the Allies; for support of the Manchu 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION'' 371 

movement (there were German gunners in that coup 
d'etat) and above all for the fertilization of future com- 
mercial fields. "Germany looks ahe.ad, " as the Emperor 
remarked in his "far-stretching horizon" speech. It is 
therefore clear that the elimination of such a rival was 
a necessity for Japan, and she set about the task with 
rare vigour. 

When Marshal Terauchi 's Government saw America com- 
mitted to war, it was decided to send a Plenipotentiary who 
should state in clear terms the new Asiatic policy of Japan, 
and at the same time dispel the mistrust and irritation of 
years between the two nations. For this mission the ablest 
of envoys was chosen — Viscount Kikujiro Ishii, a man of 
extraordinary fluency and grace, trained under Komura, 
who was the father of Japanese diplomacy. Ishii was 
Ambassador to France in 1912, and three years later he 
became Foreign Minister under Okuma. "Our message 
this day," he declared on landing in San Francisco, "is 
that, through shadow or shine, America and Japan are 
bound together for the same goal. Your sons and ours 
must have good neighbourhood assured. We must live 
so that the word or deed of neither may be viewed aslant; 
that venomous tongues, hired slander, and sinister intrigue 
such as has victimized us both, can only in future serve to 
draw us closer together for mutual protection and the 
common welfare of all." 

At the same time there was throughout this envoy's 
speeches a quiet insistence upon prior rights. "Circum- 
stances for which we are in no sense responsible give us 
special interests in China. . . . Our Chinese, friends," 
Ishii explained at a banquet on his return to Tokio, "tell 
us that China and Japan are like the two wings of a bird, 
the one indispensable to the other." I saw cartoons in 
California showing that bird in mocking flight, leaving 
Uncle Sam completely in the lurch ! Meanwhile Viscount 



372 AMERICA'S DAY 

Ishii, by reason of his success, was appointed Ambassador 
in Washington, replacing Aimaro Sato, who was barely 
established in his post — the graduate of an Indiana Uni- 
versity and but recently hailed as the ideal Japanese en- 
voy. 



Sixty-five years have passed since the Roosevelt of his 
day, President Fillmore, sent Commodore Perry to open 
relations with the shy Twilight Children whom Francis 
Xavier had long before found "very desirous of being in- 
structed." But Japan of the Shogunate days had no zest 
for foreign ways or creeds; nor can it be said that her 
visitors, whether traders, missionaries, or naval officers, 
made a pretty showing in that mysterious land. They 
were all cleared out in 1637, and Christianity was put un- 
der a ban. Then followed two centuries of seclusion, when 
Japan was fenced in a feudal world untroubled by sophists, 
economists, or calculators. Of course it could not last. 
Rumour of Russian encroachment began to reach those 
lovely islands. England's Opium War in China caused a 
faint stir; the French and Dutch gave warning that the 
Christian nations were looking eastward for new marts of 
trade. But it was America who led the way, after abortive 
attempts on the part of whalers and castaways to obtain 
concessions. 

As early as 1846 official Washington took a hand — always 
be it noted with an "armed prayer" to the mediaeval Sho- 
gunate. Yet Commodore Biddle could get no more than 
an anchorage in Yedo Bay for his ninety-gun ship ; the 
intruder was plainly told there was "nothing doing." By 
1850 American interests were more clamorous. There 
were sailors marooned in Japan at this time, and Cali- 
fornia's gold had turned men's eyes to the Pacific and 
alluring isles beyond. Two years later President Fill- 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 373 

more's Cabinet arranged the Perry Expedition with elab- 
orate care. Books were bought, scientists and interpreters 
selected ; charts to the value of $30,000 were procured from 
Holland, and American wares got ready on a tempting 
scale. It is curious that the United States should have 
taken such a step at this time, for there was trouble in 
Cuba, and feeling was very bitter between North and 
South over the slavery question. 

Perry's mission wore a minatory look. He sailed from 
Norfolk with a squadron of four warships, nor did he 
"speak softly," as Roosevelt advised America should do 
when she carries the "Big Stick." On the contrary, the 
message sent to the Mikado spoke of a still greater armada 
which was "hourly expected." The Commodore explained 
that, "should it become necessary," he would return the 
following spring "with a much larger force. But it is 
hoped that the Government of Your Imperial Majesty 
will render such return unnecessary by acceding at once 
to the very reasonable and pacific overtures contained in 
the President's letter." This last ran as follows : "These 
are the only objects for which I have sent Commodore 
Perry, with a powerful squadron, to pay a visit to Your 
Imperial Majesty's renowned city of Yedo — Friendship, 
commerce, a supply of coal and provisions, and protec- 
tion for our shipwrecked people. 

Millard Fillmore. ' ' 

Having thoroughly shaken up the Shogun, together with 
the Emperor and his people, Perry sailed away and went 
back again in February, 1854, with an imposing fleet of 
ten warships. The result was the first Treaty with Japan 
— America's earliest "Open Door" in the Far East. Eng- 
land, Holland, Russia, and France were soon elbowing 
each other in that door. 

But Japan herself was by no means unanimous over the 



374 AMERICA'S DAY 

passing of her ancient order. Friction arose between the 
Shogun in Yedo and the Mikado in Kyoto — a shadowy 
figure who dwelt apart, leaving mundane rule to his 
hereditary lieutenant. The feudal lords and warriors were 
in favour of continued isolation : the Liberals urged inter- 
course and compromise with pushful nations overseas. 
Ten years of rancour and civil strife drove the division 
deeper; and in 1863 the Shogun issued an order expelling 
all foreigners. The arrogance and greed of these intruders 
recall the righteous blaze of St. Francis Xavier, the apostle 
of India and also of these "Islands in the Hope of God." 
"Every one here," said the sixteenth-century Jesuit, "takes 
the same road — rapio, rapis. And I am terrified to see 
how many moods and tenses of the wretched verb those 
who come this way can invent. ' ' 

New envoys and Treaty Rights called upon the Mikado, 
under threat of war, to rescind his deputy's decree. Then, 
at the suggestion of Sir Harry Parkes, the Powers took 
steps to eliminate the Shogun altogether; in 1868 the 
Emperor Mutsuhito abolished his alter ego, and became 
the actual as well as the formal head of the Government. 
The capital was now moved to Yedo, which was renamed 
Tokio or "the Metropolis of the East." Four years later 
the feudal lords, together with their Samurai retainers, 
gave up their rights in order that Japan might be brought 
into line with modern progress. How effectually this has 
been done may be seen in any picture-book of today. 
For the pretty people are no longer concerned with ex- 
quisite trifles and cherry-blossom festivals, but with fac- 
tory and forge; with skyscrapers and docks, department 
stores, and mushroom fortunes, like that of Shinya Uchida 
of Kobe, who made five million yen in a single year of 
war, chiefly out of shipping, which returned him a divi- 
dend of six hundred and fifty per cent. The narikin, or 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 375 

"man turned into gold," is an envied figure in the indus- 
trial Empire of today. 

Japan's assimilation of Western ways, her rise to power, 
with armed assertion and suave diplomacy — here is a 
portent without parallel in the drama of history. No 
sooner was the so-called Restoration complete than the 
Mikado took a public oath "to seek for wisdom in every 
quarter of the earth." Gradually a Parliament came into 
being ; a new bureaucracy, a system of education, and mili- 
tary service on the French and German lines. 

Meanwhile the lesson of force — first taught hy American 
ships and guns — was quietly developing. The quarrel 
with China over Korea revealed a new Power schooled in 
modernity to the alarm of her teachers and those who 
had broken into her feudal life. Eight months of war 
saw China overwhelmed and suing for a peace of terri- 
torial cession and indemnity. Korea was cleared by the 
"toy people," who now loomed as alarming warriors. 
Manchuria was invaded, the Liao-tung peninsula occu- 
pied, together with its stronghold, Port Arthur. The 
Japanese were preparing to advance upon Pekin when 
China gave way and signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki on 
April 14, 1895. 

Here the Powers of Europe stepped in — especially Rus- 
sia, whose concern for Far Eastern peace pressed upon 
the upstart conqueror the return of Liao-tung to humili- 
ated China. There was no course open but submission 
to this demand ; it rankled keenly, however, and sowed the 
seeds of a new war, for which Japan prepared by sea and 
land, as well as by industrial activity. The five years 
that followed showed the European Powers scrambling 
for rights, leases, and naval bases in China. Port Arthur 
itself was now acquired by Russia, who had forced Japan 
to restore that fortress to its rightful owner. Then came 



376 AMERICA'S DAY 

the Boxer Rebellion with its national motto : ' ' Uphold the 
dynasty and drive out the foreigners." 

It was at this time that America moved in the matter 
of China's "Open Door." Japan was watching Russian 
moves in Manchuria, where railways were being laid, 
troops poured in, and defences strengthened. The little 
men, nursing resentment and conscious of growing 
strength, began to fear for theiu mainland markets, so the 
hour of challenge was very near. 

In 1902 Japan received a momentous lift through her 
alliance with Great Britain; for the first time an Asiatic 
nation was received in the European comity on equal 
terms. Thus fortified, Japan fixed a period for the Rus- 
sian evacuation of Manchuria. But Russia quibbled, and 
put forward demands of her own. For two years di- 
plomacy did its best, and then the sword was drawn — 
with disastrous results for the Tsar's forces by sea and 
land. When all was over, President Roosevelt was ap- 
pointed mediator between the belligerents. They met on 
American soil, at Portsmouth, N. H., where Count Witte 
and Baron Rosen faced Komura and Takahira in a "rea- 
sonable" bargain. From that day Japan advanced by leaps 
and bounds. Her imperial progress made little noise in 
the Western world: it had for its goal the hegemony of 
the Far East, and recognition of the "little people" as a 
very great people indeed, with a future of splendid sway. 

Before the war with Russia, Count Okuma laid down 
the new law as a hint to the United Sates: "A Japanese 
must be respected wherever he goes, for we yield to none 
in our citizen pride." Now the Sage of Washeda is the 
Bismarck of Japan — the idol of the nation and supposedly 
of anti-American bias: this was seen when the sale of 
the Philippine Islands was mooted in the Washington Con- 
gress by Senators with little grasp of foreign affairs. 

Okuma remains a Samurai of the Ages, revering the 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 377 

Emperor and upholding the sword. He can recall a Japan 
that was impotent as Siam; he has watched her exports 
grow from next to nothing to $800,000,000 a year. The 
aged statesman has seen the native junk replaced by home- 
built Dreadnoughts, like the mighty Fuso from the Kure 
Yard, and her sisters the Yamashiro, Ise, and Hiuga re- 
spectively from Yokosuka, Kobe, and Nagasaki. Each of 
these great ships carries twelve 14-inch and sixteen 6-inch 
guns. In Vice-Admiral Kondo the Empire has a naval 
architect whose pioneer designs are watched with pro- 
fessional interest by foreign experts. It is Japan's desire 
that all structural work and equipment of her navy shall 
come from domestic sources. Therefore the Government 
foundry at Wakamatsu supplies the steel. From the Kure 
arsenal come armour plates, with forgings and castings, 
which are also made by private concerns, of which the 
largest is in Kobe. Guns are made at Mormoran, in the 
Hokkaido. 

Okuma's life-span has also witnessed a railroad miracle, 
of which the Korea-Manchuria Express is perhaps the 
most impressive sj^mbol. There is no more luxurious train 
in the Old or New Worlds. At Fusan pier it connects 
with the channel steamer service of the Imperial Govern- 
ment Railways. The train runs to and from Chang-chun 
by way of Mukden and the South Manchuria system, cross- 
ing a stately swing bridge over the historic Yalu River, 
and thus offering the safest and quickest route between 
Japan and Chosen (Korea), Manchuria, China, and Eu- 
rope over the Trans-Siberian Railway. No wonder Amer- 
ica views with concern this "social climber among the 
nations," who moves without haste or rest to her appointed 
goal. For in her own sphere Japan can now defy the 
world, hedged about as she is by the stormiest seas, and 
armed with natural features which lend themselves to im- 
pregnable defence. 



378 AMERICA'S DAY 

Yet observe this infant Power in 1870, when, as it were, 
hat in hand, she tried to borrow a paltry million in the 
money market of London. It was grudgingly given her — . 
at twelve per cent, interest. As security the Customs 
revenue was pledged, and the loan rigidly earmarked lor 
specific purposes. Even so, our leading financial paper 
poured derision upon credulous capitalists who could lend 
money to a people whose national bankruptcy and in- 
dustrial incapacity were notorious. We are today over 
£30,000,000 in Japan's debt; and the little people now 
have an export trade of 1,600,000,000 yen, or £160,000,000 
a year. The war has indeed brought Japan unprecedented 
prosperity. Her "flush-time" dates from the spring of 
1915, when Allied orders were first placed and the Island 
Empire began to profit by the universal dislocation of 
trade, and the absence of German and Austrian competi- 
tion. Electric wire and appliances, antimony and sheet 
glass, paper and toys, celluloid, matches, and raw silk — 
these are but a few of the commodities for which the 
nations turned to Japan. 

The Government's policy of State initiative and direc- 
tion is being anxiously watched in the United States. 
Japanese commissioners have been sent abroad to study 
local trade conditions, and inform the authorities at home 
on scientific lines. Root-and-branch elimination of Ger- 
man and Austrian trade is aimed at in the Far East; 
but it is absurd to suppose that this campaign will make 
no effort to supplant British and American interests of 
long standing. 

The transformation of Japan is complete, her genius 
for colonization demonstrated during Marshal Terauchi's 
seven-year clean-up in decayed Korea. Nothing that 
America ever did in Cuba, Panama, or the Philippines can 
eclipse that orgy of social, administrative, and agricultural 
reform, which the Mikado himself inaugurated with a gift 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 379 

of seventeen million yen from his privy purse. Mean- 
while Japan's Army was growing fast; it is today at 
double divisional strength, armed and staffed with Prus- 
sian foresight and skill. Her military strength is but 
dimly apprehended by outsiders, even those who have 
seen this marvellous race pass from the Stone Age to the 
Flying Age in their own time. 

Whether this material progress is a good thing is open 
to doubt in our present mood of disillusion. "Hitherto," 
says Mill, "it is questionable if all the mechanical inven- 
tions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any hu- 
man being. They have enabled a greater population to 
live the same life of drudgery and imprisonment, and an 
increased number to make fortunes." The war-million- 
aire of Tokio; stock speculators of the Kabuto-cho, the 
narikins of shipping and dye-stuffs, iron and steel — these 
have lavish mansions on the Ginza, with gorgeous cars 
and works of art: they will pay five thousand dollars for 
a single Nabeshima plate. But the working girl remains 
a slave; the Japanese printer, if paid at the American 
rate for a forty-eight hour week, would draw no more 
than a dollar for his labour. A cotton-mill doctor of the 
Nagano prefecture found forty per cent, of the young 
girls affected with consumption. They worked fifteen 
hours a day; they were poorly fed, with only five minutes 
for a meal. "These hands dwell promiscuously in tiny 
rooms which scarcely know the sunlight. And at night 
they sleep face to face, two girls on each six-foot mat. 
. . . Employers are too engrossed in their own profits to 
pay heed to these terrible conditions of labour." 

The Japanese wage-scale bears no comparison with that 
of Europe or the United States. A female silk-spinner 
gets 15 cents a day, a male weaver 21 cents, a dyer 25 
cents, tailors 27 cents, shoemakers 30 cents, carpenters 
36 cents, stone-cutters 50 cents. Here I approach the eco- 



380 AMERICA'S DAY 

nomic and social problem of the yellow man, which has 
for many years made bad blood between Japan and the 
United States. 

The position is stated by Viscount Kentaro Ilaneko, a 
Privy Councillor and former Minister of Justice ; he is 
also an LL.D. of Harvard University. "Had we remained 
a China or Korea," this statesman says, "the clamour of 
this race question would never have reached so acute a 
pitch. As it is, Japan emerged from her foreign wars 
with a splendid organization, and as civilized as the fore- 
most nations of Europe and America, imposing respectful 
consideration upon them all, and breaking — to the resent- 
ment of some — the tradition that the white peoples are 
essentially superior to Asiatics." 

It is well to remember that we are here dealing with a 
proud and energetic people, acutely sensitive to foreign 
criticism and desirous of admiration and praise. During 
the Russo-Japanese War, American feeling favoured the 
"little men," but the signing of the Portsmouth Treaty 
brought about a change. Japan, it seemed, was no longer 
docile or submissive. She declined the proposal of Secre- 
tary of State Knox that she should hand over the South 
Manchurian railways (which had cost a hundred thousand 
lives), and accept instead a settlement in money. The 
implied threat of insistence was this time ignored; for 
Japan was no longer to be browbeaten by the older Pow- 
ers, one of whom she had just humbled by force of arms. 

Once again, then, America saw the "Open Door" in 
China closing, and markets of vast potential value in the 
shadow of a new Oriental sword. Japan protested there 
was room for all — with herself as the dominant partner. 
"It is a great mistake," said Kikisahuro Fukui, one of the 
Empire's foremost merchants, "for any nation to do busi- 
ness in the Far East without considering Japan's commer- 
cial and geographical advantages. She should be regarded 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 381 

as a colleague rather than a competitor. The Germans 
are already aware of this ; and the General Electrical Com- 
pany of Berlin entered into successful co-operation with 
the Shibaura Engineering Works of Tokio. For we have 
need, and long shall need, the technical skill and genius 
of the Western world." 

As for America, she wanted the yellow man's trade, but 
not the yellow man himself. Hence many years of fric- 
tion, with newspaper "wars" and jingo flourishes in 
Tokio, as well as in New York and San Francisco. For 
Japanese settlers were all too successfully competing with 
the white man in the three Pacific States of Washington, 
Oregon, and California. Still farther north is British 
Columbia, which also has its yellow problem. Here the 
Chinese Exclusion Act shut out the earlier intruder unless 
he possessed £100 ; but the question of Japanese immi- 
grants is much more delicate because of the power behind 
them, the racial pride, and growing vehemence of Govern- 
ment claims. Australia, too, has a jealous eye upon her 
Asiatic neighbours. "It is well known," says the Frank- 
furter Zeitung, "that Japanese longings are directed to 
the Northern Territories which a dog-in-the-manger atti- 
tude cannot indefinitely withhold from colonization." A 
"White Australia" is undoubtedly the Commonwealth's 
ideal ! 

Here the Immigration Act of 1901 blocked all Hindus, 
Chinese, and Japanese, for it ordained a literacy test of 
fifty words' dictation "in a European language." Which 
one was not specified, so the failure of the most cultured 
Asiatic is a foregone conclusion. Early in the war, Ger- 
man New Guinea and Samoa fell to expeditions from 
Australia and New Zealand respectively. Japan disposed 
of Tsing-tau and the Marshall Group, so that "Das 
Deutsche Siidsee Schutzgebiete " was soon a thing of the 
past, buried with due honours by the Berlin press. Jap- 



382 AMERICA'S DAY 

ane.se warships were policing the Pacific lanes, and escort- 
ing the transports and food-ships of Australasia. Great 
Britain was much beholden to the little people— but Aus- 
tralia was still entirely White, and quite unmoved -by 
hints of expediency and concessions. 

For example there was German New Guinea, a rich land 
which the Japanese could develop amazingly. But noth- 
ing could induce Australia "to bring the Asiatic menace 
to our back door." The other alternative — colonization of 
the Northern Territories by the Japanese — was still more 
dreaded, and the mere idea rejected with scorn. 

I allude to Australia and the opposition of her Labour 
Unions, because the analogy with Western America is com- 
plete in this regard. Both democracies accept the black 
man because he is there and does not count; it is grotesque 
to suppose that the negro has equal rights with the white 
man in the United States whatever be the Constitutional 
theory. But at all costs the "yellow streak" must be kept 
from spreading. Labour has always been a precarious 
commodity on the Pacific Coast of America. An unlimited 
source of supply was closed in 1882, when Congress passed 
an Act prohibiting Chinese immigration. This was in re- 
sponse to a demand from the three States affected. Asiatic 
labour, it was pointed out, lowered the standard of living. 
What decent American could hope to compete with the 
ten-cent standard of the "Chink"? 

After the Exclusion Act the price of labour rose, and 
fruit farmers were at their wits' end for season pickers and 
packers of enormous crops which called for rapid handling. 
In 1887 four Japanese appeared in the Vaca Valley region 
of California : These were the pioneers. Between 1890 
and 1900 twenty-five thousand came — nimble, intelligent 
fellows, who moved in gangs under clever bosses, and solved, 
as it seemed, the labour problem of* a rich land. Death and 
departures were soon reducing the proscribed Chinese. 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 383 

There was no law against the new yellow men, who were 
not long in finding their American legs. They began to 
buy up land, to form unions and demand larger wages. 
And they had a passion for tenantry, these quiet invaders 
of the Coast. 

If the owner of a farm or citrus orchard would not sell, 
he was faced with a labour boycott, and gave way at last 
perforce. That was the beginning of Japanese colonies. 
White neighbours moved away; new homeseekers would 
not settle in a yellow region. Orchard displacement in the 
Vacaville and Newcastle sections was soon on a sweeping 
scale, and in time most of California's strawberry crop was 
in Japanese hands. They also controlled the celery output 
of the south, and the great market gardens which supplied 
the cities of Los Angeles and Sacramento. And the Japs 
were uncannily efficient with prehistoric tools which, ap- 
plied to unlikely swamps bought for a song, presently 
yielded a huge harvest. Meanwhile in the towns the Jap- 
anese invasion was causing alarm, not only in common 
white and semi-skilled labour circles, but also among the 
small traders — barbers, cook-shop men and storekeepers. 

The white laundry folk formed Anti- Japanese Leagues; 
the yellow men met these with protective unions, and won 
the day with their steadfast resolve to "do it for less." 
Economic defeat deepened racial prejudice into downright 
hate, and the Japanese was ostracized with penal restric- 
tions which he was quick to resent. Thus the little men 
were excluded from the public bathing places of San 
Francisco. Their children were segregated in Asiatic 
schools; and at last the Pacific States, led by California, 
proposed a Federal Law shutting out these Asiatics alto- 
gether. This was very embarrassing to the Washington 
Government, because there was a definite treaty permitting 
the Japanese to come and settle in the United States like 
any other race of the Melting Pot. 



384 AMERICA'S DAY 

However, there was no arguing with California, where 
riot and disorder, arson and murderous outrage were di- 
rected against the yellow men, despite grave warning from 
Tokio, and protests from the Ambassador in Washington. 
California pleaded her State Rights as a sovereign com- 
monwealth of the Union. This was exclusively her affair. 
She must settle it in her own way, and threatened Presi- 
dent Roosevelt with secession if he insisted on coercing the 
Coast people in a matter which concerned them alone. 
After all, was not the naturalization law limited "to aliens 
being free white persons, and to aliens of African nativity 
and persons of African descent"? Here was the last straw 
in heaped-up injury. Japan was debarred from a citizen 
privilege which the lowest negro could claim in a huge de- 
mocracy where equal opportunity for all was the first 
commandment of the national creed ! After many alarums 
and excursions, including the dispatch of sixteen warships 
round the Horn into the Pacific, Roosevelt and Root made 
a bargain with Japan that no more passports should be 
issued to labourers. 

In 1913 the Californian Parliament passed the Anti- 
Alien Land Bill, a vague measure which limited Japanese 
tenure to a three years' lease. Four other States passed 
similar laws, to the growing anger of the Tokio Foreign 
Office and a clamorous native press. "We must have room 
to grow," these papers pointed out. "More than seventy 
per cent, of our people get a living on the land — poor 
enough land at that. We have a population of 357 to the 
square mile, as against America's 31 and California's 17. 
Our excess of births over deaths is 600,000 a year. Then 
where shall we turn?" Ernst Haeckel, the German, was 
right when he predicted wars of dispossession, with crowded 
nations struggling for existence in a pegged-out world, 
"where the strongest and most resourceful will alone sur- 
vive." 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 385 

It is well to state both sides of the case. That of Japan 
is a claim to peaceful expansion in quest of the raw ma- 
terial so vital to her manufactures. "What wrong has she 
done America?" she asks. Six thousand miles of sea sep- 
arate a poor group of islands, containing over fifty million 
souls — only sixteen per cent, of whose lands are arable — 
from a fabulously rich people of over a hundred millions, 
owning a fertile continent as large as Europe. And Amer- 
ica's national wealth, when compared with Japan's, is 
like John Rockefeller's billion beside the coppers of a gut- 
ter newsboy. Japan insists that the maintenance of peace 
is a cardinal principle in her development of new Asiatic 
spheres, now opening to her beneficent sway. She rests 
upon her proven quality in war, and points to the patience 
with which she has endured years of insult from the United 
States, who in turn regards a solemn treaty as a scrap of 
paper, and shuts out the Japanese as though they were 
felons of the Black Hand or the Camorra. 

"When we strike," the little man informs America, "we 
do it without counting the cost, in the true bushido spirit. 
And when our heroes fall in battle, their families do not 
droop in mourning, but put on gala dress to receive the 
visit of friends who congratulate them on the high honour 
which their sacrifice has brought. A formidable outlook, 
it may be, judged by Western standards ; it is one to be 
reckoned with in the continual baiting and thwarting of 
Japan. It is only economic pressure that drives us from 
home. We produce the finest rice, but we can't afford to 
eat it. We ship it abroad, and import inferior stuff for 
our own people. China was our last chance — 'the oppor- 
tunity of ten thousand years,' as Okuma called it. We 
shall do there on a vast scale what Terauchi did in Korea, 
what Lord Cromer did in Egypt, what Governor Taft did 
in the savage Philippines. Supremacy in China is nat- 
urally ours, because of racial affinity with the people and 



386 AMERICA'S DAY 

geographical contiguity. We shall not close your Open 
Door, but only set our watchmen in it — the sturdy little 
fellows you despise and reject because they are better 
farmers than your own. Consider Kinya Shima, of Stock- 
ton, Cal., who cornered the potato market with a million 
dollar deal, out-manoeuvring his American rivals. An- 
other of our people hired some land near Los Angeles, 
at a cash rental of twelve dollars an acre. The owner 
had offered it rent free to the poor of the town, yet there 
were no takers. Soon the j^ellow man's trucks were creak- 
ing cityward with produce, and your people stood sourly 
by. 'Look at that damned Japanese,' they muttered, 'tak- 
ing the bread from our children 's mouths ! ' 

"San Francisco started the Japanese Exclusion Leagues. 
Reckless mobs, inflamed by the Labour Unions, ran amuck 
in the yellow quarters. Now mark the difference between 
the Asiatic peoples in your midst. The Hindus wept help- 
lessly when assailed. The Chinese ran away and hid, but 
the Japanese stood their ground and fought, leaving their 
mark upon the ruffian horde, which outnumbered them 
a hundred to one. It is well to remember that we are of 
the warrior caste ; you can ignore this only at your peril. 
'Scratch a Japanese,' as Inazo Nitobe reminds us, 'and 
you will find a Samurai.' " 

For years the Japanese peril figured in American news- 
papers and magazines. "In May, 1913," Captain Hobson 
told the House Committee on Naval Affairs, ' ' and for weeks 
afterwards, our gunners on Corregidor Island were busy 
day and night. The harbours were mined, Federal troops 
were dispatched. Our warships were got ready for the 
Pacific Coast. Secretary Daniels is present. Does he deny 
the imminence of war with Japan at that time?" There 
were also rumours of preparation in Manila, where a 
Japanese descent was feared, with transports convoyed by 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 387 

a great fleet for the seizure of the Philippines group, which 
Dewey called "the key of the Pacific." 

When Rear- Admiral Yashiro was at Pasadena, and a ball 
was arranged at the leading hotel, the Californian belles 
were heard to say "They would just as soon dance with 
niggers." That festivity was cancelled ; so was the visit of 
school children to the Japanese fleet, all dressed in their 
best and carrying the flags of both nations. A curt tele- 
gram from the "nigger" Admiral, and his sudden depar- 
ture, added another unpleasant episode to the long list. 
At this time the press of Japan was rehearsing them all, 
and calling upon its rulers in a fashion which could not 
be ignored. Apology and redress — or war with America 
was the popular Japanese demand. It was not alone voiced 
by "yellow" journals like the Yorozu Choho, but by sober 
organs like the Asahi of Osaka, and the Hochi of Tokio, 
which reflects the views of the Doshikai party, of which the 
Marquis Okuma is the leader. The Newspaper Law of the 
Restoration was invoked to restrain this newspaper fury. 
It subsided somewhat, in view of the Gentlemen's Agree- 
ment which shelved the immigration question, without de- 
ciding it at all. "If as a result of this visit," Viscount 
Ishii said at the Japan Society's dinner in New York, "the 
two peoples will but believe that their mutual distrust, sus- 
picion, and doubt are the result of careful German Kultur 
during the past ten years, then we shall have done much 
for ourselves and for you. ' ' 

But America fancies that the Prussian name has seen 
too much service in this connection. She found nothing 
German in the repugnance which her Pacific States dis- 
played towards the yellow man. And she got a great shock 
in 1915, when the Twenty-One Demands were sprung upon 
China, and at the same time concealed in part from Eng- 
land, France, Russia, and the United States. China her- 
self hastened to supply the omissions, and the discrepancy 



388 AMERICA'S DAY 

in the two versions created a very bad impression which 
no subsequent "conversations" quite removed. 

America draws a parallel between German designs upon 
derelict Russia and Japanese encroachment upon China's 
weakness. Both victims are dangerous, the Americans 
think. Both have enormous reserves of strength, despite 
their seeming looseness; each of these patient races may 
gird themselves afresh in the vast interior of their country, 
so as ultimately to smother the invader. The Chinese are 
a long-suffering folk, with no love for foreign wars. They 
are well aware of their own lack of nationhood; they are 
ready and willing to co-operate with others in the work of 
their own guidance and regeneration. But if Japan denies 
China a controlling voice in her own destiny, then indeed 
there is danger ahead. "Better be dashed to fragments as 
a jewel of jade than held together as a lump of brick," so 
said Liang Chi-chao, the reformer of Canton, when Japan 
declared war in 1894. 

Since the war began, the diplomacy of Japan has been 
carefully watched in Pekin and Washington, where Tokio's 
act and deed are taken as sounder guides than the melli- 
fluence of political missionaries. Japan's "extra-textual" 
readings have long worried China, who believes with Kung 
Fu-tze that "sincerity is the beginning and end of all 
things." Japan has throughout protested the peacefulness 
of her aims — provided her expansion is not blocked. For 
this reason America carries the parallel with Prussia a 
step further. Undoubtedly Japan is now a military power 
of the first rank — formidable, scientific, and precise. Here, 
as in Germany, loyalty to the State and the sacred person 
of the Emperor is erected into a religion. That able 
writer, Iichiro Tokutomi, editor of the Tokio Kokumin, 
defines the cultns as a "centripetal Mikadoism." "The 
Mikado is the centre of our nation," this author says in his 
work, Japan to America. "Considered as a body politic 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 389 

it has him as its sovereign. Considered as a race, it has 
him as leader; and as a social community it has the Em- 
peror for its nucleus." 

It cannot be supposed that ecstasy of this kind wakes 
any sympathy in Republican China or the United States. 
Neither does the Prussian worship of force which is en- 
shrined in the imperial psyche of Japan. " Bushido," says 
Professor Inazo, the foremost authority on the subject, 
' ' made the sword its emblem of prowess and power. When 
Mohammed declared the sword to be the key of heaven and 
hell, he was but echoing a Japanese sentiment." America 
remembers that the German sword has a monstrous statue 
of its own — surely the only one extant — a broad blade 
reared skyward in a mailed fist on the lake at Friedrichs- 
hafen, where Zeppelin built his gas-bags for civilian mur- 
der in the night. It may be well that President Wilson's 
war-aim — to "make the world safe for democracy" — ap- 
plied equally in the East as it does in the West. 

The intellectuals of Japan admit that Germany is ad- 
mired in their country, as it is among the military cliques 
in China, who block and blight every prospect of unity and 
reform. According to Professor Anesaki, who was ex- 
change lecturer at Harvard in 1913-15, many leaders of 
Japanese politics and industry sympathize with Germany's 
aim to win a place for herself in the sun. "The only rem- 
edy for Pro-Germanism among us," the Professor thinks, 
"is to convince our people of the futility of Teutonic 
methods. To do this the Allies must be successful — not 
only in the naval and military way, but also in social, 
moral, and educational reconstruction after the war." In 
other words, the Allies must produce a superior Kultur 
of their own. 

Another witness is Motosada Zumoto, proprietor of the 
Japan Times, of Tokio. "It is natural," says this alert and 
able man, "that the scientific mind and thoroughness of 



390 AMERICA'S DAY 

the Teuton should appeal to us Japanese. Moreover, Ger- 
many's martial efforts move Japan through the bushido 
ideal of blooming and falling quickly ; of heroic effort at 
any cost — the Weltmacht oder Niedergang! — even though 
it be foredoomed to defeat. ' ' It was this affinity of the two 
Powers, coupled with the mention of Japan in the Zimmer- 
mann-Eckhardt plot, which suggested to the United States 
the peril of a possible German-Japanese Alliance, in which 
disintegrated Russia might figure as a passive tool. On 
their part the Germans respect Japan, and warn her that 
her chance is passing "to conquer the great unmilitary 
America in a short surprise war." 

"One must admit," we read in the semi-official press of 
Berlin, "that Wilson is wise in harnessing his man-power 
and industry at this time. It is an extraordinary oppor- 
tunity, and, of course, only half aimed at Germany. 
Moreover, once accomplished, Japan's advantage will be 
over. Therefore America's moment is skilfully chosen. 
She puts off her weakness without the reproach of militar- 
ism at home and abroad. Nor can Japan protest, but 
only clasp the new friend to her heart. Hence all the 
palavers and understandings. Hence the sending home 
of Ambassador Guthrie's body on a warship and the mis- 
sion of thanks on the part of America's Asiatic squadron, 
with the Mikado lunching with Admiral Knight, and mak- 
ing the usual pretty speeches." 

The Germans maintain that it was Guthrie's successor 
in Tokio, Dr. Paul Reinsch, who persuaded the Chinese 
Government to declare war. The President, Li Yuan- 
hung, was convinced that Germany would be victorious. 
Vice-President Feng was of like mind for a time ; Premier 
Tuan and the conservative generals were undecided. But 
Young China followed America's lead — first in protest, 
then in severance of relations, at last in open 'hostility, 
with all it entailed of repudiation and confiscation; of 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 391 

dismissal of German officials and general elimination of 
Teutonic influence. In this way was Japan outwitted, for 
she had announced her intention of speaking for China 
at the Peace Conference of the Powers. 

It must be owned that since 1914 the affairs of China 
present a tangle which defies unravelling. There were 
coups and counter-coups, mandarin plots, and continuous 
strife between the radical South and a reactionary North. 
And always in the background were the ant-like millions 
leading the same old life in Asiatic spaces, knowing little 
of the political game, or the very meaning of a Republic. 
"We are like cabbages with our roots in the air," explained 
the illiterate despot, Chang Hsun, the "Butcher of Nan- 
king" and feudal lord of Hsu-chow-fu; once a ma fit, or 
groom, he became a king-maker in this topsy-turvy land, 
with a following of forty thousand men. 

Through all the turmoil America's voice was raised in 
earnest exhortation ; her efforts were unceasing to restore 
order in the chaotic "cabbage-field" of Asia. It was the 
"sincere hope" of the State Department, officially ex- 
pressed to the Chinese, "that factional disputes may be 
set aside, and that all parties will work to re-establish and 
co-ordinate the Government and secure China's position 
among the nations." I need only refer in passing to the 
attempt to restore the Manchu dynasty in the person of 
the eleven-year-old boy, Hsuan Tung, who was hauled 
from his bed in the small hours to mount the most pre- 
carious of thrones. His sponsor, the bandit chieftain 
Chang Hsun, was soon denounced as a traitor, and fled 
for shelter to the Dutch Legation with a price upon his 
head. 

But Chinese politics are too bewildering to follow. That 
strong man, President Yuan, himself plotted for the throne 
for twenty years, and at last passed a hundred days as 
uncrowned Emperor — losing his nerve in the interval, and 



392 AMERICA'S DAY 

at last dying miserably of Bright 's disease. That was 
the end of the Hung Hsien, or Era of Brilliant Prosperity, 
in which Yuan's American adviser, Dr. Frank J. Good- 
now of Baltimore, had a professional — or rather a profes- 
sorial — hand. 

America is a long way off: Japan is at China's door, 
and now committed to exploitation — if possible with Amer- 
ican money, as Baron Shibusawa's mission showed in the 
autumn of 1915. Japanese expansiveness is by no means 
a new policy; it goes back to the dream of conquest cher- 
ished by the great dictator, Ilideyoshi, at the close of the 
sixteenth century. It was urged in 1859 by Yoshida 
Shoin, the Choshiu Samurai, who may be called the 
Treitschke of awakening Japan. It was from this phi- 
losopher that Kido, Ito, Inouye, and the rest of the "Meiji 
Heroes" learned their earliest lessons in statecraft and 
national destiny. "The foreign policy of Japan does not 
change with the Cabinet," Marshal Terauchi said, when 
he succeeded Okuma as Prime Minister. The soldier- 
statesman spoke very curtly about the charges of "mili- 
tarism and territorial aggrandizement" which had been 
bandied about in Europe and the United States. "It is 
unnecessary for me to assure any one of Japan's good 
faith, or to waste words in contradicting and denying the 
mischievous rumours and unwarranted presumptions of 
those who misinterpret my motives, or forecast my future 
actions." 

Will Japan realize her project of a protectorate over 
China, with all that it entails of power-politics and change? 
Who can say with any certainty? The boldest prophets 
have been confounded in the course of this war. Even 
the cock-sure German is often subdued, and talks of the 
Incalculable in human affairs — the folly of forecasting the 
fate of nations, or measuring their drift by nicely reckoned 
laws of more or less. "It is part of probability," says 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 393 

Aristotle in the Ethics, "that many improbabilities will 
happen." Who could have predicted the heroic stand of 
little Belgium or the collapse of mighty Russia in the 
face of the same foe — with millions of men, in the latter 
case, flatly refusing to fight, and lynching their own ad- 
mirals and generals? As for China, no two opinions, na- 
tive or foreign, coincide about its future; though many 
observers who have spent their lives in the land detect a 
new sense of unity — a definite transition from the "family" 
to the national stage, such as may portend the fusion of 
four hundred million people into a polity which no alien 
race could ever hope to control. 

Meanwhile China's millions live in a state which Amer- 
ican travellers describe as "only half a hop ahead of hun- 
ger." The currency is a maddening thing; in Pekin alone 
nine imaginary taels are in circulation, yet accounts are 
actually settled in dollars. The measure of silk varies with 
the city in which you bought it. Language, politics, and 
problems, all are provincial rather than national. And 
China remains a roadless land, with each journey an ad- 
venture, and many perils in the way. 

It is true that change is astir; but can these hordes 
be roused before the domination of Japan is complete? 
Here is America's fear; this is her own Eastern Question. 
It should be remembered that the Panama Canal, by de- 
veloping the Western Seaboard of the United States, has 
opened immense prospects of Asiatic trade. America is a 
Pacific as well as an Atlantic Power, with strategic bases 
of imperial reach in both oceans. 

She has hitherto been weak in a military way, unable 
to help the helpless nations save by moral means which 
are now seen to be worse than ineffectual. America's 
treaty with Korea, signed at Seoul on May 18, 1893, could 
only offer "good offices to bring about an amicable ar- 
rangement ... if other Powers deal unjustly or oppres- 



394 AMERICA'S DAY 

sively with Korea." Yet America was the very first na- 
tion to express approval of Japan's decree of suzerainty 
over that crumbling kingdom. Again, the United States 
was committed to protest on China's behalf when Tsarist 
Russia began to absorb Manchuria. No such protest was 
made, for it could have nothing behind it but a pious 
wish : the champion of Liberty was always without helm 
or sword. "If you can't protect your own citizens in 
Mexico, ' ' said a typical Chinese intellectual in Washington, 
"how can we expect you to stretch across the Pacific to 
protect us?" 

So it came back at last to brute force and the Big Stick, 
which no nation may neglect save at the risk of ruin, as the 
Russian visionaries found when it was too late. Senator 
Chamberlain of Oregon brought out this fact in a three- 
hour speech which moved the Upper House profoundly, 
and reverberated from sea to sea among a resolute people 
arming for Democracy's War. "From Washington's Let- 
ters," Mr. Chamberlain said, "from Bunker Hill to the 
Mexican Border affrays of 1916 — throughout our whole his- 
tory — we have never had a military organization or a mili- 
tary policy. Nothing but luck and aloofness have saved 
us, and now we must save ourselves. ' ' 

War Secretary Baker put up a brave defence of his 
Department; but it is clear the machinery broke down in 
all directions under unexampled strain. "It was like try- 
ing to run a British tank," one heard in the Senate lobbies, 
"with the engine of a Ford runabout!" Sober historians 
like Albert Bushnell Hart of Harvard rehearsed again the 
unreadiness of 1775, 1861, and 1898. In all cases "mate- 
rial had to be made ready after the war began." . . . "In 
April, 1917, we went to war with the most powerful 
oligarchy the world has ever seen, on the basis of a fairish 
Navy and a Regular Army of a hundred thousand men. 



''OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 395 

But there was not a single aeroplane. Not one battery of 
big guns, not enough rifles for the first Army, no regiment 
of them trained to the trench, wire, and bomb methods of 
the new warfare. That is why we now pour out men, 
mone3 r , and munitions to erect the proper engine of war and 
catch up with our own enthusiasm." 

Japan also is a student of war by sea and land and air. 
As early as September, 1914, her cruisers and destroyers 
left Yokosuka to search the Marianne, Caroline, and Mar- 
shall Groups for our common enemy. When Tsing-tau fell, 
after a ten weeks' siege, Japanese naval activity widened. 
It patrolled the Pacific; it co-operated with us in the 
Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Important missions 
were undertaken at the Straits ; over transport routes of 
the South Seas, in the South Atlantic too, and lastly in 
the Mediterranean under Admiral Tetsutar Sato, whose 
destroyers rescued British troops and nurses from the tor- 
pedoed Transylvania. 

The Mediterranean squadron brought with them sea- 
planes, which were soon scouting for submarines with all 
the scientific elan which we take for granted in this race, 
to whom no AVestern miracle comes amiss. Japan had her 
own aviators aloft over the German fortress of Tsing-tau 
in China. Riddled with bullets, the machines continued to 
observe, and sailed away when their work was done. I 
need hardly emphasize the professional zeal with which 
Japanese attaches follow the colossal struggle on land, and 
communicate its lessons to the Supreme War Council in 
Tokio. Meanwhile the Japanese Army was re-armed with 
a new rifle, the invention of Colonel Kijiro Nambu, a pro- 
fessor of ballistics of international repute. This weapon 
is a notable improvement upon the Murata rifle, which it 
has now superseded. In all directions the machinery of 
war was improved. "The world will be astonished," said 



396 AMERICA'S DAY 

Baron Hayashi, now Japanese Ambassador in Rome, "when 
it learns all that we have done, and shall do in the future." 
This significant hint no doubt referred to the projected 
operations in Eastern Siberia, with Vladivostok as a base. 

Both Japan and the United States will therefore emerge 
from the war as great military Powers. Their future 
relations depend upon the fate of China and Pacific prob- 
lems bound up with it, political, economic, and strategic. 
Earnest efforts, following the Ishii Mission, are being made 
to improve these relations. Thus Japan has her ' ' East and 
West News Bureau," an association for promoting cor- 
diality between the two nations. Its director is Dr. Iye- 
naga, who is also linked with the University of Chicago 
as a lecturer. Mr. Samuel Gompers of the American Fed- 
eration of Labour now cables fraternal greetings to Presi- 
dent Suzuki, of the Workers' Friendly Society of Japan: 
"The most important duty of our movements is to main- 
tain frank and friendly terms between our respective coun- 
tries, and endeavour amicably to solve vexatious prob- 
lems." 

Asked whether America would fight for the Open Door 
in China, President Roosevelt declared that she would. 
His successor, Mr. W. H. Taft, held the contrary opinion, 
doubting whether Americans were sufficiently interested 
in Far Eastern affairs to make any substantial sacrifice for 
them. The present Administration sent Notes of great 
vigour to Tokio and Pekin over the Twenty-One Demands. 
President Wilson's Government confessed itself "greatly 
disturbed" over the further Japanese aggression which 
followed the squabble in Chen-chia-tun. But those were 
the days of America's "wooden sword," when protests from 
her were filed or ignored as a matter of course. With the 
habit and harness of war she will receive a very different 
hearing. America will in future have something stronger 
than "good offices" to offer her Allies and proteges, whether 



"OUR OWN EASTERN QUESTION" 397 

Britain or Belgium; France, China, Mexico, or the Latin- 
Republics,— to whom by the way the Monroe Doctrine was 
become a somewhat threadbare mantle of protection from 
foreign foes. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 

"Will you not convey to His Majesty my appreciation 
of his sentiments, my confident expectation that the great 
principles of truth, liberty, and honour, which the people 
of this country hold so dear, will increasingly serve as a 
broad, solid foundation upon which the friendship and 
cordial relations of the two Governments may rest and 
develop ? 

"I believe that the righteous cause we are now prose- 
cuting will bind more closely the people of the United 
States to the people of Great Britain." — (President Wil- 
son to Earl Reading, British High Commissioner in Wash- 
ington.) 

The above speech is a momentous break with tradition. 
Before the Great War there was no European nation which 
America esteemed so highly as Germany ; there was but 
one nation in all the world for which America had an 
hereditary dislike, and that was England. The Scotsman 
escaped this feeling. As for the Irish, whether as citizens 
or as an "oppressed" people overseas, they were, of course, 
viewed with peculiar sjmipathy. Were they not living sym- 
bols of that "absolute Tyranny" which is impressed upon 
every American child in the Declaration of Independence, 
with its scathing indictment of King George the Third as 
a prince who ' ' is unfit to be the ruler of a free people ' ' ? 

The fallacy of "cousinship" with the United States was 
persistently held in this country in the face of all the 
facts, and the irritation it roused, by reason of the implied 

398 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 399 

condescension of which Lowell complained. War with 
America was stoutly declared to be unthinkable by British 
writers — as though it had not loomed again and again 
since 1814, when John Quincy Adams met Lord Gambier 
in the old Carthusian Convent at Ghent, both sides smart- 
ing under humiliation, and signed at long last a treaty 
which left open more questions than it settled, especially 
the right of search at sea. 

Our ruling classes of that time despised the young Re- 
public. They believed it would soon break up, just as 
Gladstone, Russell, and Derby did at a later day, when 
Lincoln was at his wits' end to save the Union from dis- 
ruption. The Treaty of Ghent left bad blood between 
the two nations, and it was a sullen affair in the making. 
After four months of obstinate haggling, it was only popu- 
lar pressure on both sides which forced the Commission- 
ers to. sign a covenant of peace. On our part we declined 
to grant the United States the privilege of trade with the 
British-American colonies. Canada's haunting fear was 
not yet laid with regard to her neighbour's territorial 
designs. 

On her side America resented British "arrogance" with 
Jeffersonian warmth, and rejoiced that she had for the 
second time humbled the haughty mistress of the seas. 
Then in the "roaring forties" — a period of expansion and 
pioneering to the South and West — there were boundary 
disputes and border incidents in Oregon and Maine which 
once more threatened Anglo-American relations. There 
were quarrels over Mexico and the Isthmus, and over the 
steps which our officers took to repress the slave trade. 
The Civil War saw latent antagonism flame up afresh. 
Rupture was very near when the Confederate envoys, Sli- 
dell and Mason, were seized at sea on an English ship and 
carried off as prisoners to Fort Warren by Captain Wilkes. 
Palmerston demanded an "instant apology for a violation 



400 AMERICA'S DAY 

of international law." Troops were despatched, war was 
declared inevitable, and prayers were offered in the Wash- 
ington Senate. It was one of those occasions when Amer- 
ica mourned her impotence at sea, and wished she had a 
navy capable of curbing "the sway of an arbitrary tri- 
dent." 

From the very first a peculiar touchiness is discernible 
in the State Department's dealings with Great Britain: a 
liability to sudden anger with little provocation, as Cleve- 
land's Message showed in 1895 over the Orinoco swamps 
of Venezuela, to which British Guiana laid claim. This 
alleged infringement of the Monroe Doctrine was declared 
in the Message to be "a wilful aggression upon the rights 
and interests of the United States." American protests 
to Great Britain, by the way, are seldom couched in the 
suavest terms — even those received after 1914, over the 
hold-up of American mails, our "hovering" cruisers, the 
Black List of traders, the status of "merchant" subma- 
rines like the Deutschland, and lastly our "so-called" Block- 
ade, which was dealt with in a Note of quite forcible lan- 
guage. 

Yet for a hundred years Anglo-American peace has re- 
mained unbroken, thanks to the sound sense of both de- 
mocracies, who insisted upon finding a way out before 
extremes were reached. 

During the American Civil War our neutrality was of a 
kind that vexed both belligerents and left us with few 
friends at the close, either in the North or the South. 
This irritation grew more intense when the struggle was 
over, thanks to unscrupulous angling for the Irish vote, 
and partly through the growth of American imperialism. 
The Irish question, I may say at once, has always lamed 
our relations with the Republic. Since 1914 German 
propaganda has made damaging use of it, pointing to the 
gulf between Britain's precept and practice in her treat- 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 401 

ment of the weaker nations. Ireland, Egypt, and India 
are specifically named in pamphlets and speeches addressed 
to people who have little or no knowledge of the facts. 
In America the Irish have a political power out of all 
proportion to their numbers. And having joined forces 
with disloyal German elements in the early days, they 
were able to hinder America's war-will, adding to the con- 
fusion of her neutral time. 

At home and abroad Irish hostility has been unwaver- 
ing, and it cropped up in each Anglo-American dispute. 
As leader of the Nationalist Party, Mr. John Redmond 
sent the following message to New York at the time of 
Grover Cleveland's threat over the Venezuelan affair: "If 
war results from the reassertion of the Monroe Doctrine, 
Irish national sentiment will be solid on the side of Amer- 
ica. For with Home Rule rejected, Ireland can have no 
feeling of friendliness for Great Britain." 

It were absurd to deny that such seeds as these fell 
upon stony ground in the United States, whose very 
founder threw off the "despotism" of a British king who, 
with his hireling soldiers, was accused of "cruelty and 
perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, 
and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation." 
Nor did George Washington acquit the British people of 
a share in "these usurpations" when he wrote his wrath- 
ful Declaration. "We have appealed to their native jus- 
tice and magnanimity," he said, "and we have conjured 
them by the ties of our common kindred. . . . They, too, 
have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity." 

Here we see the root of an Anglophobia which lasted a 
hundred and forty-one years. It coloured all intercourse, 
social, economic, and political ; and as America grew, it 
was kept alive by the most assertive aliens in her midst. 
Dislike of England hampered the ablest and sanest of 
State Secretaries — men who had vision enough to put prej- 



402 AMERICA'S DAY 

udice away, as Jefferson did, and were willing to "marry 
ourselves to the British fleet and nation" whose cham- 
pionship America had already known in serious crises. 

John Hay's Anglo-Saxon policy received no support; 
the cry of "Subservience to England" spoiled his sagacious 
drift, especially during the Boer War. Hay gives us many 
hints of the strong currents against him at this time. 
"That we should be compelled," he mourns, "to refuse the 
assistance of the greatest Power in the world in carrying 
out our own policy, because all Irishmen are Democrats 
and some Germans are fools, is enough to drive a man 
mad ! ' ' Already the hyphenate problem was acute, clog- 
ging American statecraft, and renewing the ancient bitter- 
ness every Fourth of July with hymns of hate which did 
more harm than the fireworks: and they were very deadly 
indeed, as every American knows. Writers in our news- 
papers who took the "cousinship" line appeared to ignore 
the fact that America's greatest holiday was an orgy of 
Anglophobia. The sight of a British flag on "The Fourth" 
could and did provoke a serious riot. Anglo-American 
history in the schools recalled heroic deeds of the minute- 
men and farmers against the red-coats, whom England's 
German King sent "to complete the works of death, deso- 
lation, and tyranny" in his own long-suffering Colonies. 

Speaking at Plymouth ("where the Mayflower last left 
land"), Ambassador Page alluded to this fallacious teach- 
ing and the mischief it wrought. "On the American side," 
Dr. Page was glad to say, "the disproportion and wrong 
temper of these books is fast disappearing. Newer texts 
are correcting this old fault." The Ambassador also pro- 
posed for British schools a modern book about the United 
States ; its foremost men, its social structure, and ideal aims 
for the betterment of humanity. In short, a work which 
should be to children what Lord Bryce's American Com- 
monwealth is to students of a more mature age. 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 403 

There is no gainsaying the need for this restatement on 
both sides, and particularly the part which Great Britain 
played as America's friend during the German intrigues of 
1898. Cleveland's ringing renewal of the Monroe Doctrine 
was resented by the Central Powers ; and when the quarrel 
with Spain developed, Von Holleben and Hengelmuller — 
the Bernstorff and Dumba of their day — were soon urging 
intervention upon the whole Diplomatic Corps in Washing- 
ton. America knew that Germany had designs of her own 
in the Caribbean; she was nevertheless determined to lib- 
erate Cuba and vindicate her own claim to the hegemony 
of the New World. In the critical weeks that followed the 
sinking of the Maine, German overtures were made to 
France and England with a view to thwarting American 
aims. John Hay was then Ambassador at our Court; he 
was presently able to inform his Government that Britain, 
far from being a party to the plot, took a sturdy stand by 
the side of the United States. 

Of course if Germany had had her way nothing could 
have saved America from humiliation. For with three of 
the greatest fleets barring the Cuban coast, she could never 
have approached the island, much less landed an army 
there. The war with Spain must have ended ignomini- 
ously, for resistance could only have brought about dis- 
aster. The Atlantic seaboard would have been at the 
mercy of a new Triple Alliance ; all the cities from East- 
port down to Charleston lay open to attack and occupation, 
with possible indemnities and national abasement. 

John Hay persevered with his Anglo-Saxon scheme, and 
found a staunch friend in Joseph Chamberlain, whose 
speech at Birmingham on May 11, 1898, is now widely 
quoted in the United States. "What is our next duty?" 
Mr. Chamberlain asked. "It is to establish and maintain 
bonds of permanent amity with our kinsmen across the 
Atlantic. For there is a powerful and a generous nation. 



404 AMERICA'S DAY 

They speak our language, they are bred of our race. . . . 
I don't know what the future has in store for us; I don't 
know what arrangements may be possible. But this I do 
know and feel — that the closer, the more cordial and fuller 
and definite these arrangements are, with the eonsent of 
both peoples, the better it will be for us both and for the 
world. I will even go so far as to say that, terrible as 
war may be, war itself would be cheaply purchased if, in 
a great and noble cause, the Stars and Stripes and the 
Union Jack should wave together over an Anglo-Saxon 
alliance." 

Writing to Senator Lodge from London, Ambassador 
Hay referred to "Chamberlain's startling speech": "It 
was partly due to a conversation I had with him, in which 
I hoped he would not let the Opposition have a monopoly 
of goodwill expressions for America." This goodwill took 
a dramatic turn in Manila Bay. Here the truculent Ger- 
man commander, Von Diederichs, assumed a threatening 
attitude towards Admiral Dewey, who was greatly per- 
plexed thereat. That veteran sailor told the story to the 
late Earl Grey at a Senatorial banquet in Washington 
in 1905, and Lord Grey repeated it in the House of Lords: 

"Admiral Dewey told me that the presence of German 
cruisers of heavier displacement than his own caused him 
to realize the danger menacing his country in the event 
of those ships taking hostile action; and of this he had 
reason to be apprehensive. He described how the Amer- 
ican Fleet watched in silent anxiety the visit of the Ger- 
man Admiral to Captain Chichester's ship, and the intense 
relief with which they saw, shortly after Von Diederichs' 
return, the two British cruisers, Immortalite and Iphigenia, 
hoist their anchors and move to a position which placed 
them in the direct line of fire between the German and 
American vessels. No action has ever done more to pro- 
mote the friendly feelings of one nation for another than 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 405 

this of Captain Chichester, which is well known to every 
officer in the United States Navy." 

Yet outside that Service the old dislike of England per- 
sisted, greatly to the disappointment of John Hay. He 
was now America's Foreign Minister. "All I've ever done 
with Britain," he wrote in plaintive key to his predecessor 
in that high office, "is to wring concessions from her with 
no compensation. And yet these idiots say I'm no Amer- 
ican, because I don't cry 'To hell with the Queen,' at every 
breath!" 

Hay was abused as an Anglomaniac, as Lowell had been, 
and by the same Irish irreconcilables. Even close friends 
of his, like Lodge, were afraid there was something in the 
air of St. James's which turned the sturdiest Yankee into 
a bit of a courtier, with undue leanings to the English 
side. 

I have said that Germany was esteemed by the Ameri- 
can people, and that dislike of England was a persistent 
tradition. The reversal of these sentiments is a curious 
study in national psychology, and the cause can be traced 
to reasons of American safety. Quite apart from the fact 
that Germany was a very good customer, taking $235,000,- 
000 worth of cotton and copper alone each year, she had 
come to be regarded as the post-graduate schoolhouse of 
the United States. Every ambitious youth who could af- 
ford it took a course at a German university, because this 
gave him a better send-off in a career than any diploma 
from an American technical school. And hyphenate pro- 
fessors, like the late Hugo Miinsterburg of Harvard, worked 
hard to heighten the prestige of the only Kultur which was 
one day destined to improve with guns God's moulding of 
the world. 

Miinsterburg 's Psychology and Industrial Efficiency is 
something of an American classic. It was William James 
who invited this scholar from Freiburg, and at the same 



406 AMERICA'S DAY 

time Von Hoist, on the strength of his American history, 
was called to the newly-founded University of Chicago. 
These imported high-brows soon saw "the failures and 
deficiencies of American civilization," and set about mend- 
ing them with characteristic zeal. According to Miinster- 
burg, they were due to "a lack of that social idealism 
which gives meaning to our German life"; and in the 
summer of 1898 he confided to Ambassador von Holleben 
his plan of foisting the true Fichtean brand of Kultur on 
the United States. 

Germany's "official contact" was promptly secured for 
this missionary work, first for Harvard and then for 
Chicago. At length Munsterburg was able to chant his 
triumph, for on March 6, 1902, the Kaiser's brother, under 
that hyphenate roof in Ware Street, Cambridge, handed 
over the documents and gifts of the Germanic Museum at 
Harvard. ' ' The official Americans, ' ' the Professor tells us, 
"were led by David Jayne Hill, who was later on Ambas- 
sador in Berlin. Towering over the German group stood 
one of the mildest-looking of men, Alfred von Tirpitz, 
and next to him, Admiral Robley D. Evans. Many other 
Americans and Germans of renown listened to the speeches, 
which culminated in Prince Henry's spontaneous plea that 
the friendship between America and our Fatherland might 
never be broken." 

Debris de toiles d'arraignce que le vent emporte! 

There was no talk in those' days of Prussian militarism. 
The thing was known, of course, but Americans laughed 
at it as a peculiar hobby — a national aberration, marked 
with schlager-slashes on the faces of students from Alte 
Heidelberg. 

But the German was thorough : he was a fellow of in- 
eradicable purpose ; a first-class stayer and timber-topper 
in the long and tricky Grand National race, of which the 
prize was supremacy in the world of commerce. Compared 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 407 

with this apostle of Die Thatigkeit — the restless activity 
which Goethe said proved the Man — his English rival cut 
a poor figure, resting as he did upon his father's oars and 
"glorying in the name of Briton" — like George the Third 
of obstinate and execrable memory. 

The English (America thought) were the most insular 
of peoples, and that in the narrowest, most irritating sense 
of the word. "They don't say much," as the French 
statesman remarked when dealing with the notorious 
morgue Britannique. "And you can't tell them anything 
at all!" 

Such, then, were the estimates which America held of 
the two foreign nations in which she was most interested. 
This estimate held good in 1914; it was not greatly dis- 
turbed during the "flush time," nor did the fulminations 
of the Eastern press bring about any noticeable change. 
Indeed, to speak frankly, there seemed to be one law for 
Germany and another for Great Britain where dealings 
with the State Department were concerned. The mere 
presence of our cruisers was a vexatious fact ; yet a Ger- 
man submarine (the U-53) could enter an American port, 
collect information, and then sally forth to sink merchant 
vessels, leaving the work of rescue to destroyers of the 
Narragansett Bay station under Admiral Knight: this 
was in October, 1916. Protest from four of the Allies, 
including Japan, drew a sharp reply from AVashington, 
which expressed its "surprise" at the implied dictation, 
and "reserved its liberty of action in all respects." Mr. 
Lansing's naval advisers told our Ambassador "there was 
no reason for treating the submarine otherwise than is 
customary in the case of an ordinary warship visiting a 
foreign port." 

It may seem ungracious to recall the American Notes 
dealing with that thorny question, the "freedom of the 
seas," which President "Wilson put in the forefront of his 



408 AMERICA'S DAY 

fourteen proposals for an enduring peace after "this, the 
culminating and final war for human liberty." But those 
Notes inflamed feeling against us, especially in the South- 
ern States, where our declaration of cotton as contraband 
of war came as a great blow. In both Houses of Congress 
retaliatory embargoes were proposed upon commodities use- 
ful to the Allies — first munitions of war, and then food- 
stuffs. In the latter case rising prices made the masses 
welcome that move as one likely to reduce the cost of liv- 
ing, so it had a fleeting measure of popular support. 

Then the Battle of Jutland was hailed in New York as a 
German victory; the "re-write man" of the Hearst jour- 
nals used the word "overwhelming," and was thereafter 
denied the use of mails and cables by our Government for 
systematic distortion of official news. No doubt our Ad- 
miralty was in part to blame by reason of its maladroit 
reports. For even the New York World, which never had 
pro-German leanings, came out with a big cartoon showing 
the British Lion emerging from the waves with a black eye 
and a tin can tied to his tail. "In spite of conflicting re- 
ports from Berlin and London," the World leader said, 
"and a common suppression of details, it is plain that the 
British Fleet was outmanoeuvred, outshot, and outfought by 
its adversary." 

In those early days Germanism swept the United States 
with gusty ecstasies of all-pervasive tinge. Deutschheit 
was backed by a propaganda which covered the continent 
from sea to sea, and was aided by the Irish — by Sinn 
Feiners and Clan-na-Gaelers, Ancient Hibernians, Irish 
Leaguers, Friends of Freedom, and an Irish press so vin- 
dictive that it was at last forbidden the mails by Post- 
Master Burleson. Senators Martine and Phelan brought 
forward extravagant motions, like the one requesting 
President Wilson to intercede for Roger Casement and the 
' ' Irish Martyrs. ' ' Indiscretion of this kind did not prevent 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 409 

America's leading men from sympathizing strongly with 
the Irish cause. President Wilson himself accepted a 
statue of Robert Emmett, and he received Mrs. Sheehy 
Skeffington at the White House with unusual warmth. 

So that, swayed with emotion from millions of her citizens, 
it is not surprising that at one period America was inclined 
to believe that the German would win the war and vindi- 
cate his clamorous claim to super-manhood among the races. 
Even the native humorist, friendly to our cause, was 
afraid of the Kaiser's sledge-hammer strokes in East and 
West. He described them in prize-ring jargon, such as 
everybody understands. "The Divine Right is working 
like a piston," this wag was grieved to say. "And unless 
the Allies can put over a rib-roasting left, it's the sleep-act 
for theirs, and a sad count over the champion that was!" 
This detachment, with all its levity and unconcern, woke 
angry remonstrance in England and France — especially 
when it was known that Captain (now Admiral) Sowden 
Sims had been asked to revise his professional report of the 
Battle of Jutland, lest its eulogy of British tactics should 
offend the German elements in the United States. 

That those elements were able to influence policy is 
beyond a doubt. German-American shippers and traders 
were loudest of all in the outcry against our right of search 
at sea ; our seizure of neutral mails and contraband of 
war, and lastly over the Black List — "an arbitrary and 
sweeping practice," which the American Note was afraid 
would have "harsh, even disastrous effects upon the com- 
merce of the United States." We had a hostile press over 
there at this time. 

The severity of the saner papers became rabid abuse in 
those of the Hearst chain, and the German language jour- 
nals, from Sacramento to St. Louis, became extraordinarily 
scurrilous. It was purely time to remind present-day 
America of the historic part which the British Fleet has 



410 AMERICA'S DAY 

played; so Mr. Balfour began with a dissertation on the 
Freedom of the Seas. "England and Holland fought for 
it in times gone by," Mr. Balfour told our ruffled friends, 
"and to their success the United States may be said to .owe 
its very existence. For if, three hundred years ago, the 
maritime claims of Spain and Portugal had been admitted, 
whatever else North America might have been, it would not 
have been English-speaking. It would neither have em- 
ployed the- language nor obeyed the laws, nor enjoyed the 
institutions which, in the last analysis, are of British 
origin." 

America's stand over the right of search at sea is an 
historic tradition; it goes back to Benjamin Franklin, who 
negotiated a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Prussia, 
in which it was agreed that private property should not be 
seized. Of course in those days the sea affair was mere 
lunar politics to Prussia, seeing that she had no fleet worthy 
of the name, nor any call for it until 1848, when Prince 
Adalbert wrote his "Memorandum Concerning the Estab- 
lishment of a German Navy." It was mainly our right of 
search at sea which caused the Anglo-American War of 
1812. In 1856 the United States disagreed with the Dec- 
laration of Paris, because the contracting Powers would 
not admit her maritime view of "free ships and free 
goods." 

John Hay impressed this upon his delegates to The Hague 
in 1899. "You are authorized to propose the principle 
of extending to strictly private property at sea the im- 
munity from destruction or capture by belligerents which 
such property -already enjoys on land." This the State 
Secretary thought "worthy of being incorporated in the 
permanent law of civilized nations." Both McKinley (in 
1898) and Roosevelt (in 1903) sent Messages to Congress 
reaffirming this claim. It received national sanction by a 
joint resolution of both Houses, passed on April 28, 1904. 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 411 

And three years later Secretary Root armed America's 
envoys again with the old sea-heresy, which they took with 
them for the second time to The Hague. 

In 1812, as in 1915-16, the British (and French) re- 
straint of neutral trade had exasperated American opin- 
ion. Yet in their own Civil War President Lincoln brought 
sea-power to bear upon the Confederacy with crushing 
effect. His Proclamation, dated April 19, 1861, deems it 
"advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within 
the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United 
States, and of the law of nations in such case provided." 

We were grievous sufferers by this drastic step, which, 
although it saved the Union, dislocated our trade and in- 
flicted the direst misery upon our people. Lancashire drew 
her cotton from the blockaded States, and when supplies 
were cut off, thousands of mill-hands were thrown out of 
work. Later on they were brought to the verge of starva- 
tion, and their employers faced with downright ruin. Yet 
from those famishing homes the Slave Emancipator got a 
message of sturdy support for his cause. Lincoln replied 
to this in a very moving letter to our Manchester hands. 
"I cannot but regard your utterance," he wrote, "as an 
instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not been 
surpassed in any age or any country. ... I do not doubt 
that the sentiments you have expressed will be sustained 
by your great nation ; and on the other hand, I have no 
hesitation in assuring you that they will excite admiration, 
esteem, and the most reciprocal feelings of friendship 
among the American people." 

It is no wonder, therefore, that America's agitation for 
the freedom of the seas died down before the parallel cases 
we put to her, with modifications made necessary by the 
great size of ships and the impossibility of adequate search 
on the high seas. A Naval Board advised the American 
Government that: "No difference . . . can be seen be- 



412 AMERICA'S DAY 

tween the search of a ship of 1000 tons and one of 20,000 
tons, except possibly a difference in time for the purpose 
of establishing fully the character of her cargo and the 
nature of her service and destination." The absurdity 
of this contention was soon realized, and American jurists 
of high repute upheld the British view. Thus Professor 
S. E. Edmunds of St. Louis University, comparing our 
blockade of Germany with that of the Confederate ports 
during the Civil "War, declared our action amply justified. 
"A sense of consistency should make us mute," concludes 
this American authority on international law. 

It is a mistake to suppose, however, that the matter 
is definitely settled ; on the contrary, it has figured fre- 
quently in Presidential utterance as the considered policy 
of the United States. As Article II in Dr. Wilson's pro- 
gram of the world 's peace, it follows the abolition of secret 
diplomacy, and is thus phrased: "Absolute freedom of 
navigation upon the seas outside territorial waters, alike 
in peace and in war, except as the. seas may be- closed, in 
whole or in part, by international action for* the enforce- 
ment of international covenants." 

Thus it is evident that in any future conflict America 
looks for co-operation, which has been denied her during 
the most merciless of all wars. President Wilson did ap- 
peal for neutral support, and appealed in vain, as he told 
his people with regret. The non-belligerent nations were 
all Sinn Feiners, all concerned with "Ourselves Alone," 
and no doubt intimidated by "frightful" German meth- 
ods as carried out in Belgium — Jam pro.cimus ardet Uca- 
legon. Even German thinkers have commented upon this 
Levite shrinking attitude. "The nations," says Rudolf 
Eucken of Jena, "are no longer ruled by ideals, but by 
interests; they preach open egoism, and apply it with new 
zeal to the practical philosophy of life." The Pope made 
a moving appeal for peace — "Must the civilized world 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 413 

become nothing but a field of death?" And, like Presi- 
dent Wilson, His Holiness urged that "the moral force of 
Right should take the place of the material force of arms." 
But here, surely, is the crux of the tragedy. For in such 
a war as this, all the belligerents believe they have Right 
on their side. 

Germany sees herself as der Hort des Friedens — the 
Rock of Peace, assailed by floods of jealousy and fear. 
Von Kirchhoff, the Bavarian General facing the French 
near Peronne, during the battles of the Somme, broke 
down and cried before the American pressmen when he 
recalled the Allied taunt of "Huns and barbarians," ap- 
plied to the legions under him who were dying daily for 
the Fatherland. "Justice, loyalty, and truth are fighting 
on our side," the Emperor told his Brandenburg Grena- 
diers on the Tagliamento plain. And in an Order to both 
services, he declared that "the gallant exploits of our sub- 
marines have secured to my Navy glory and admiration 
for ever." What argument is possible with sentiments 
like these? The fatal fact is that they are sincerely held, 
and that the clash of Right against Might must make war 
a condition of eternal recurrence. 

America herself — the most peaceful of all democracies — 
felt this in her Civil War, when North and South fought 
with a furious conviction which became a religion. "The 
men were in dead earnest," we learn from that scholarly 
pacifist, David Starr Jordan of Leland Stanford Univer- 
sity. "Each believed that his view of State Rights and 
national authority was founded on the solid rock of Right- 
eousness and fair play." So it must be to the end, when 
feeling runs high and there is hopeless divergence of 
causes. 

In peace proposals addressed to the Powers, Pope Bene- 
dict would assure "the supremacy of Right" by simulta- 
neous and reciprocal disarmament, and a system of arbi- 



414 AMERICA'S DAY 

tration backed by a League of Nations. This follows the 
American plan. But the Pope as well as President Wil- 
son contends for "the true liberty and community of the 
seas, which on the one hand would remove many causes 
of conflict, and on the other would open to all new sources 
of prosperity and progress." Now this aim strikes at the 
very root of the British Empire and bids fair to be the 
gravest of all the problems before the plenipotentiaries of 
Peace. The German Government referred to it when re- 
plying to the Pope 's Note ; it was among the ' ' definite rules 
and safeguards" which were to ensure "the fortifying 
moral strength of Right." Germany was ready to sup- 
port "every proposal which is compatible with our vital 
interests." The Imperial Chancellor was in ostentatious 
agreement with President Wilson over the freedom of the 
seas in war and peace. Was it not "also demanded by 
Germany as one of the first and most important require- 
ments of the future?" "There is, therefore," Count 
Hertling continued, "no difference of opinion here." 

But there is ambiguity everywhere in scope and defini- 
tion of this aim. Few of its advocates are so frank as 
Herr Dernburg who, as propagandist in New York, ex- 
plained why sea-poAver should be hobbled and land-power 
left free : why war should be banished from the element 
in which Germany was weak, and left to ramp in the re- 
gion of her proven strength. When the Lusitania was 
destroyed, Von Jagow, who was then Foreign Minister in 
Berlin, described that fearful crime as a blow for the 
freedom of the seas, and consequently a service to the 
whole world. But as these "services" multiplied, with 
American victims drowned again and again, the logic of 
the argument grew more than doubtful, even in the Amer- 
ican West, whose moral indolence a German industrial 
magnate like Walter Rathenau surveyed with grave amaze- 
ment. 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 415 

"The most important element in the freedom of the 
seas," declared Mr. • Roosevelt bluntly, "is freedom from 
murder. And until our Government takes an effective 
stand, its talk of freedom can only expose it to ridicule." 
This view gained ground with each succeeding outrage, 
and at the same time the ancient estimate- of Britain under- 
went a profound change. Count Bemstorff's prompting 
about British "navalism" was now coldly received — as 
Mendoza's was long ago when he complained to Elizabeth 
about the intrusion of her ships into the waters of the 
Indies. American experts like Admiral Mahan were read 
again, and sea-power began to loom in quite a new light. 

It was now recalled that without a blockade, ruthlessly 
enforced, the rebel States of the 'Sixties would never have 
been subdued. The sale of their cotton would have bought 
munitions of war, and America as we know it would surely 
have broken up. Then there was Mahan 's testimony to 
Britain's benign use of her sovereignty at sea. He admits 
that from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf, and from the At- 
lantic to the Pacific, freedom has been maintained by cap- 
tains of English breed, such as have for centuries im- 
peached the would-be conqueror afloat. 

"If it were not for this British mastery," mused the 
Wall Street journal at last, "where would our export trade 
be today?" In other quarters the Monroe Doctrine was 
historically reviewed, together with the opinions of it held 
by reactionary statesmen of the Central Powers. Thus it 
was to Metternich a calamitous consequence of free-footed 
democracy. Bismarck called that doctrine "an interna- 
tional impertinence." But Great Britain was behind it 
throughout, and for this reason history itself took on new 
meanings; Americans marvelled how that legacy of dislike 
could ever have come down to them. 

Why, it was German despotism which America fought in 
her Revolutionary War! Two of the Georges were Ger- 



416 AMERICA'S DAY 

mans who hated England and barely spoke her tongue. 
The Third of that line was brought up by a narrow- 
minded German mother to be ''King," as she impressed 
upon him. And he it was who steered the State into what 
Goldwin Smith called "the most tragical disaster in Eng- 
lish history." It was therefore a civil war, that of 1776, 
with the liberties of all at stake, whether at home in Eng- 
land, or in the American Colonies. Had not Chatham 
withdrawn his son from the Army "so that he might not 
fight in the unhappy war with our fellow-subjects"? The 
Earl of Effingham resigned his commission, and received 
the civic thanks of London and Dublin for his action. 
General Amherst also declined to serve ; Sir William Howe 
was reluctant, but King George insisted, and the soldier 
obeyed under the duress of his military oath. This is the 
new English history, as taught today in the United States. 

The late John Redmond took it down to 1910. Mr. T. P. 
O'Connor brought the story to this present year; and the 
result is a change of heart which may fairly be called epoch- 
making. There were no signs of it in the Catholic press of 
America which now scathed the " All-f or-Ireland " sabotage 
and plots which the Department of Justice had discovered. 
The Chicago Citizen mourned the fact that "Irish names, 
some of them prominent, have been tainted with disloyalty 
and tarnished with German gold." 

The Catholic Transcript of Hartford recalled the Pas- 
toral Letter of Cardinal Logue dealing with Young Ire- 
land's "pursuit of a dream which no man in his sober 
senses can hope to see realized — the establishment of an 
Irish Republic ... by hurling an unarmed people against 
an Empire which has five millions of men under arms, fur- 
nished with the most terrible engines of destruction which 
human ingenuity could devise." 

However, Irish-American citizens were less concerned 
with folly in the Motherland than with treasonous action 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 417 

against the Stars and Stripes — "the flag which has given 
asylum and liberty to so many millions of our race. ' ' These 
loyalists formed a new party, and sent out an earnest ap- 
peal to compatriots at home and abroad not to embarrass 
the cause of the Allies by vindictive action against Eng- 
land. 

The German intrigue was far more formidable, and for 
many reasons it kept the State Department in a state of 
indecision. Large American supplies were reaching our 
enemy through neutral ports. Thus in the early days, 
when we held up cotton cargoes on their way to Sweden, 
the quays and warehouses of Gothenburg were heaped high 
with the staple, yet Swedish spinners were complaining 
they had none for their own use. One significant contract 
with a German firm came into our hands ; it was for 50,000 
bales at double the price which cotton was fetching in any 
other country. All of it was consigned to neutral ports, 
and when we seized a shipment there was no trace in the 
papers of enemy destination. Every device that guile 
could suggest was employed in this nefarious traffic from 
the United States. Thousands of tons of meat, documented 
for a neutral port, were sent to non-existent firms. Other 
consignments were addressed to lightermen or dock la- 
bourers. Others again to a baker, an hotelkeeper, and a 
maker of musical instruments. 

In the three years prior to the war Sweden's average 
import of lard from America was but 638 tons. In 1915 
the figure leapt to 9029 tons. Norway's imports of pork 
and bacon showed a similar bound; in 1916 she supplied 
Germany with 868,500 tons of food. The Allies protested, 
of course, but their demands were in various ways evaded, 
as by the erection of canning factories at Hamburg for 
Norwegian sardines and oil. As for Denmark, so late as 
June, 1917, she was sending across the frontier seven 
thousand head of cattle every week; and her American 



418 AMERICA'S DAY 

imports of indispensable fats presented a glaring case. 
Thus the intake of cottonseed oilcake was thirty times 
greater in 1915 than in the preceding year. Sweden's 
traffic was mainly in munitions of war. It was Holland's 
popular boast that she was "Germany's bread-basket"; 
and when the Allies tried to stop the supplies of pork, 
Richard von Kiihlmann, who was then German Minister at 
The Hague, said he had no objection to offer, since "a 
Dutch pig was only American maize on four legs." 

These facts were brought to the notice of the Washington 
Cabinet, for the United States was regarded by these neu- 
trals as an inexhaustible source upon which they might 
draw after having sold to the Central Powers at enormous 
profit. After declaring war President Wilson shut down 
upon this traffic. He declared an embargo upon American 
products in order that these might not be made "the occa- 
sion of benefit to the enemy, either directly or indirectly." 
Washington was soon filled with plaintive missions from 
"the necessitous little nations." The envoys presented 
specious documents, but America's Export Council was 
inexorable. Fifteen Dutch ships were held up at Balti- 
more, and fifty more at New York laden with millions of 
bushels of wheat and maize, as well as oilcake, bacon and 
lard. 

Mynheer van den Wielen had a piteous tale of misery in 
Holland; but the intelligence Bureau of the State Depart- 
ment proved to him that Dutch food imports had shown 
an excess over home consumption which was enough to 
provision 1,200,000 soldiers for a year! The Norwegian 
Mission, under Fritjof Nansen, was severely heckled by 
caustic Americans. "You have it in your power to starve 
us," the famous explorer said, "but we hope and believe 
you will help us instead. A million tons of our merchant 
fleet have been sunk, and six hundred of our seamen 
drowned." America asked why Norway had fed her mur- 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 419 

derous assailant, and even provided the nickel for the 
German torpedoes which did the work? Here is one of the 
darkest problems of the war, and a fruitful theme for mis- 
anthropy. 

It will be seen that step by step the United States swung 
into line with the British view of sea-power. We plied her 
with precedents in her irritable time, quoting facts from 
her own Civil War and the war with Spain. "If the ship's 
papers," American cruisers were instructed in 1898, "in- 
dicate the presence of contraband, the ship should be 
seized." In Lincoln's day Secretary of State Seward said 
he was very sorry for the distress in England occasioned 
by the blockade; but who could expect him to sacrifice 
the American Union for cotton? And therewith he baf- 
fled the blockade-runners of neutral ports. Moreover, the 
Supreme Court extended the doctrine of continuous voy- 
age, so as to cover all cases of trickery intended to break 
the blockade. This became more and more effective; until 
Seward could say that, "Cotton commands four times the 
price in Manchester and Rouen that it does in New Or- 
leans." 

These cogent arguments were working in the American 
mind, and they served to offset the mischief -making efforts 
of Germany, both directly from Berlin and also through the 
Embassy in Washington, whose influence was at last on the 
wane. In one of the Notes which Von Jagow handed to 
Mr. Gerard — it was a reply to further protest against the 
submarine — America was reminded that she had it in her 
power to confine the war to belligerent forces, had she been 
"determined to insist against Great Britain, on incontest- 
able rights to the freedom of the seas. ' ' As matters stood, 
the German people saw only protests against the "illegal 
methods" of their enemies, and an American demand that 
Germany "who is struggling for existence, shall restrain 
the use of her effective weapon. ' ' 



420 AMERICA'S DAY 

On our side surprise was expressed that Secretary of 
State Lansing did not see eye to eye with us about the new 
status of the submarine, especially after the havoc wrought 
by U-53 off Nantucket. But impulsive action is wholly 
foreign to the tradition »of the State Department. It is a 
slow-moving Bureau, entirely undemocratic, and charged 
with domestic as well as foreign duties — including the over- 
sight of a Presidential election every four years. Amer- 
ican vacillation in regard to armed merchant vessels and 
submarines was due to representations from naval advisers 
who were watching the development of the under- water 
craft with a single eye to national needs of the future. A 
Memorandum was handed to Mr. Lansing pointing out the 
enormous coast line of the United States, and the peculiari- 
ties of many of its harbours, which might well make the 
submarine a suitable weapon, alike for attack and defence. 

The auxiliary cruiser, the strategists said, could work 
havoc in war-time with American commerce, so it might 
be well to avoid any policy which could be cited here- 
after to hamper the free use of the invisible boat. So 
defective were the coast defences, that it would be im- 
possible to resist the landing of an army backed by pow- 
erful warships unless the underwater weapon were given 
the fullest play. 

Moreover, to insist that a submarine should visit and 
search a liner before attacking her might one day place 
America at the mercy of an enemy with a large merchant 
marine, and therefore able to equip raiders incomparably 
more destructive than even the notorious Alabama. Alto- 
gether the sea affair was fraught with perplexing possi- 
bilities to a great democracy beset on every side and con- 
sidering the future in the light of a lurid war-time day. 
In the meantime America was suffering from a German 
blockade. Her ships were held up in port ; tankers of the 
Standard Oil had been recalled and added to the dock 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 421 

congestion, which was already serious. At length there 
was nothing for it but to put guns on board and to assume 
that armed neutrality which is the half-way house to war. 
For this purpose a hundred million dollars was voted by 
Congress, and the liner St. Louis set forth as a pioneer 
equipped for any encounter. 

So at long last the warnings against British Seeherr- 
schuft and maritime tyranny recoiled upon Germany: she 
was soon to figure as the "furious and brutal Power" in 
a Presidential Note, "whose word we cannot take as a 
guarantee of anything that is to endure." American 
travellers began to ask what complaint had Germany to 
make about the freedom of the seas before she made her 
pounce in 1914? "I sat on the club verandah at Singa- 
pore," Mr. Poultney Bigelow testified, "and counted 
twenty-seven funnels of a single German line. Then I 
crossed to North Borneo, also on a German line which 
carried the British mails. Later on I went to Siam — 
likewise on a German line. After that to Australia, to 
Java and the Eastern Archipelago. And always in ships 
of that same concern." 

New York newspapers published the large-scale maps 
which the Hamburg-Amerika and Norddeutscher Lloyd 
Steamship Lines used to display so proudly in their London 
windows, showing every known sea-lane traversed by 
them, from China to Peru. "Absolute freedom," as de- 
fined by Germany, means the abolition of blockade 
(Absperrung) except within the limits of territorial waters; 
and this modern weapons have made impracticable. It 
forbids the right of search for enemy goods or munitions 
of war. Contraband is not to be seized. German mari- 
time trade should therefore swarm unchecked, leaving the 
naval preponderance of the Allies a helpless nullity in the 
greatest of all wars. These contentions looked absurd to 
America — though she was hurried into war without having 



422 AMERICA'S DAY 

decided the question to her entire satisfaction. For this 
reason she regards the freedom of the seas as only in abey- 
ance; we shall no doubt see her envoys, for the third and 
last time, take a decisive stand upon the subject at the Con- 
ference of Peace. 

It is well to remember that America wishes to keep a 
free hand in her war against the German autocracy. 
President Wilson's deputy, Colonel E. M. House, made 
this quite clear at Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay. 
For the old mistrust of entangling alliances is still strong, 
and the devious statecraft of Europe can never be agree- 
able to the United States, whose distaste for expedients 
is almost prudish when these conflict with her standards 
and ideals. This was seen in her reluctance to give formal 
assent to Japan's move in Eastern Siberia, with Vladivostok 
as a base and the railway junction of Harbin as an ob- 
jective of high importance in the preservation of Far 
Eastern peace. In American eyes such an invasion was 
morally indefensible without a direct mandate from the 
Russian people : and no foreign guarantees could take the 
place of this national sanction. 

It is America's pride that she went to war for no ma- 
terial gain, but through love of liberty and sympathy 
with the struggles of all the peoples, both great and small. 
For this reason a typical English statesman like Arthur 
Balfour called the Day of her entry "one of the most 
important in the annals of mankind." Mr. Asquith, in the 
historic debate of felicitation in our Parliament, ventured 
to doubt "whether even now the World realizes the full 
significance of the step which America has taken." France 
weighed the wealth of her sister Republic; the man-power 
and material resources, allotting her at last the supreme 
role of a decisive factor in the war. 

But no sign was so significant as the drawing together 
of Great Britain and the United States, of which the 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 423 

symbol was the Stars and Stripes floating from the Victoria 
Tower of Westminster— the first foreign flag ever dis- 
played by the Mother of Parliaments. The periodical lit- 
erature of America soon teemed with tribute to the effort 
and purpose of Great Britain. Our new armies were 
praised; our Navy's shield over all the seas, our genius 
for colonizing, and a commercial policy throughout the 
Empire which was a standing marvel to our German rivals 
in the old days. University Presidents dwelt on the eth- 
ical side of English rule in India, Egypt, and the Africas. 
The Britain of today was presented in glowing propaganda, 
and the paeans of Emerson recalled — he was afraid that if 
he lingered too long among us his patriotism would suffer! 

"Mother of nations," wrote the pink-thinking Sage of 
Concord, in his apostrophe to England, "Mother of heroes, 
with strength still equal to the time; still wise to enter- 
tain, and swift to execute the policy which the mind and 
heart of mankind require at the present hour!" These 
transports passed, of course, and left the idealist with a 
considered verdict upon the Englishman, whose "stuff or 
substance seems to be the best in the world. I forgive 
him all his pride. My respect is the more generous in that 
I have no sympathy with him, only an admiration." 

But the martial spirit of our race in the gravest trial, 
and its achievement in the three elements of war since 
1914 have aroused more than admiration in the United 
States. Her ablest writers, together with historians, la- 
bour leaders, and members of Congress, were sent over 
to report this unsuspected psyche, and with it the indus- 
trial surge which has turned our country into an arsenal, 
and so quickened its productive power as to make the 
Britain of tomorrow the keenest of all commercial rivals 
in the fields of peace. 

How mistaken was even so able an observer as John 
Hay, when he lamented the "degeneracy" of England in 



424 AMERICA'S DAY 

1900. This was the burden of many messages which Amer- 
ica received, with a wealth of detail that woke the read- 
er's wonder and warmed him to enthusiasm at last. After 
all, he mused, there must be something in Hegel's claim 
that "wars invigorate humanity, just as storm preserves 
the sea from putrescence." America had but to look at 
home to see the shock of war working out her people's 
destiny. For the first time duty and sacrifice were put 
above the dollar, alike by the rich and the obscure, in mat- 
ters of great moment and in trifles too. Here was the boy 
soldier in Lorraine advising his mother to "quit sending 
candy." "It tastes fine," he agreed in a wistful letter 
home. "But it seems we're short of ships, and we want 
all the space we can get for cartridges." 

And, stripping to the fight, America shed her old illu- 
sions and traditions. Her prescient statesmen and think- 
ers now openly urged her to join hands with Great Britain 
as "the conscious and leagued custodians of the world's 
peace"; I quote from the Plymouth speech of Ambas- 
sador Page. "To undertake this," he pursued, "our com- 
radeship must be perpetual, and our task is to see that it be 
not broken, nor even strained . . . for we are laying new 
foundations of human freedom." With profound feel- 
ing the senior American diplomat vowed himself to this 
work: "Whatever years remain of my working life I. 
propose to devote to this and nothing else — to the bring- 
ing about of a closer fundamental and lasting acquaintance 
between the people of this Empire and those of the United 
States. . . . We understand each other better than any 
two great nations, so let both turn to the task. For upon 
our united shoulders henceforth and for ever, so far as 
we can see, the peace of the world must rest. ' ' 

Surely these earnest words, and the dangers that loom 
ahead, foreshadow an Anglo-American Alliance? For this 
was the "marriage" which that famous democrat, Thomas 



NEW ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING 425 

Jefferson, found the most natural of all when he looked 
across the seas for a partner to share America's peril. 
Nearly fifty years before that crisis came, Jefferson had 
drafted the historic Declaration of Independence. He was 
later on President Washington 's Secretary of State ; and 
in his long career he had moulded the young Republic, and 
held every office in its gift, retiring at last laden with 
honour and prestige, to direct and advise his successor at 
the White House. Naturally, then, it was to Jefferson that 
President Monroe turned for counsel when Richard Rush, 
U. S. Minister in London, sent over the two letters of 
Canning which offered the support of England against the 
New- World designs of Metternich and the Holy Alliance. 
"With Great Britain on our side," Jefferson told Monroe, 
"we need not fear the whole world!" 



THE END 



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